The Bitcoin Startup That Lured Nike’s CIO Has Now Hired the Nike CISO Sued by MasterCard / STEVEN NORTON AND KIM S. NASH / Jun 9, 2015  1:55 pm ET

The bitcoin startup that hired former Nike Inc.NKE +1.50% CIO Anthony Watson has now added the sportswear giant’s security chief, William Dennings, to its ranks. The move comes amid a lawsuit between Nike, Mr. Dennings and his former employer,MasterCard International Inc.MA +0.82%, that highlights the fierce battle for top cybersecurity talent.

Mr. Dennings joined Bitreserve this month as the startup’s first CISO, Mr. Watson said in a statement on the company’s website. There, Mr. Dennings will “spearhead the company’s security and data protection infrastructure,” the statement said.

Prior to joining Nike, Mr. Dennings was chief information security officer at MasterCard.

The credit card companysued Nike in January, alleging that the sportswear company conspired with Mr. Dennings and another security manager, Ryan Fusselman, to poach cybersecurity talent. The suit claims that both executives, who joined Nike in 2013, broke non-solicitation agreements and non-disclosure contracts by subsequently hiring MasterCard employees who worked in information security.