Experian Executive Is Out, Acxiom Sues Him

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Gary Parisi no longer holds his position as executive vice president of strategic sales at Experian, the company said last week, while another former employer, Acxiom, has filed a lawsuit claiming that he stole more than 20 confidential documents just before leaving the company this year.


"Experian is aware that Gary Parisi is a defendant in a lawsuit filed against him by Acxiom Corp.," an Experian statement said. "Experian is not a party to the lawsuit. Mr. Parisi is no longer an employee of Experian."


Experian's statement also said that "as this is a legal matter involving one of our former employees, we will not be able to comment further." Experian also would not say whether Parisi was fired or left on his own.


Experian offers database and marketing services similar to those of Acxiom.


Acxiom filed the suit against Parisi on Oct. 8 in Pulaski County Circuit Court, Second Division, in Arkansas. In documents obtained by DM News, Acxiom said Parisi had served as an executive in Acxiom's sales department since 1997 and that his job title when he left the company was industry client executive, a group-level sales leader position.


In that role, the court papers said, he had access to confidential information, including Acxiom's business models, customer lists and business methods. He also signed an employee agreement promising to keep company information confidential and proprietary, the lawsuit said.


According to the lawsuit, Parisi began negotiations in the spring of this year with Experian to leave Acxiom, accepting a job offer from the company June 3. Two days later, before Parisi told Acxiom of his departure, he attended an Acxiom leadership meeting in Little Rock, AR, "where many confidential and proprietary matters were discussed," according to the suit.


According to Acxiom, Parisi arrived at work the next day and sent more than 20 electronic documents "containing confidential, trade secret, and/or proprietary Acxiom information" to a private e-mail address. The company claimed he then resigned "promptly after hitting the 'send' command from his Acxiom-supplied computer."


The complaint also accuses Parisi of taking paper copies of Acxiom documents before officially ending his job with the company July 7, more than one month after beginning work for Experian. It also claimed that "since leaving the employment of Acxiom, Parisi has made statement to the effect that on behalf of Experian he was actively soliciting the customers of Acxiom."


The lawsuit seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to stop Parisi from, among other things:


· Misappropriating, disclosing and using Acxiom's confidential, trade secret and proprietary information.


· Interfering with Acxiom's existing and prospective business relationships with clients and prospective clients.


· Breaching his fiduciary duty and duty of loyalty owed to Acxiom.


· Violating his contractual obligations to Acxiom


Acxiom accuses Parisi of 15 offenses, including violation of Arkansas trade law, repeatedly reneging on his duty to the company, violating his employment contract and fraud.


The suit makes several demands of Parisi, including he cease using Acxiom's confidential information, return all copies to the company and identify customers or clients he has contacted since Jan. 1. The company also asked that he pay compensatory and punitive damages and "an amount yet to be determined" for violation of the Arkansas trade law.


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