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Starbucks sues former exec for joining Dunkin' Donuts

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Seattle Starbucks Corp. is suing a former executive it accused of violating non-competition and separation agreements when he went to work for rival Dunkin' Donuts.

Starbucks filed the lawsuit against Paul Twohig, who oversaw the company’s retail operations in the Southeast before joining Dunkin’ Donuts.

Starbucks has accused Twohig of breaching an 18-month, non-compete agreement. At the time of his departure from Starbucks in March 2009, Twohig was responsible for developing Starbucks brand for thousands of retail stores and formulating business plans to respond to competitors such as Dunkin' Donuts.

According to the complaint, Twohig in August asked to be released from the non-compete agreement so he could take a job with Dunkin' Donuts. Starbucks refused.

Through an Internet search, Starbucks on Oct. 3 learned Twohig had accepted a position with Dunkin' Donuts as its brand operations officer.

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