EMC sues ex-staff who joined Silicon Valley rival

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After losing 30 employees to a fast-growing Silicon Valley rival, data storage giant EMC Corp. is firing back.

It has sued several former, highly paid salesmen for allegedly swiping proprietary information, taking confidential materials, and violating their work agreements with EMC in service of their new bosses at Pure Storage Inc., a Mountain View, Calif., start-up that competes with the Hopkinton company in the flash-storage business.

EMC last week filed suit against a former salesman in Texas, Chadwick Johnson, accusing him of raiding his work laptop before quitting in September and taking files on customers, sales practices, and other sensitive business documents, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Boston.

“Johnson’s unlawful conduct is part of a larger campaign by Pure Storage,” the company charged in the lawsuit.

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