Tech startups and their investors have spent several years agitating for noncompete reform in Massachusetts, with almost no results. That changed abruptly Wednesday when House Speaker Robert DeLeo put his weight behind a deal to finally limit how the contracts are used.
The data-storage company is the most valuable tech company in Massachusetts, where it employs thousands. But EMC will no longer be publicly traded once the Dell deal closes, and veteran CEO Joe Tucci will retire. Michael Dell will run the newly combined company from his headquarters in Texas.
All of those factors pointed to the possibility that EMC’s clout had suddenly dwindled, leaving political leaders more open to cultivating a new generation of tech companies that wanted reform.
“EMC was the most vocal and aggressive proponent of noncompetes in Massachusetts, both in terms of lobbying and litigation. There could be less energy after the acquisition,” said Todd Dagres, an investor with Boston venture firm Spark Capital.