Print 33 comment(s) - last by robinthakur.. on Mar 28 at 7:30 AM

He tried to leave ahead of time despite his contract

Poaching is a common practice in the tech sector, where one company will recognize the talent of an employee at another and attempt to make that person a better offer. This recently happened when a tech executive tried leaving the withered and dying field of BlackBerry bushes in Waterloo, Ontario in favor of the healthy and prospering Apple orchard in Cupertino. But it's not clear if the poach attempt will ever be successful after a recent court ruling.

According to iMore, Apple tried to poach BlackBerry SVP of Software Sebastien Marineau-Mes, but Marineau-Mes' contract with BlackBerry got in the way. 

Marineau-Mes started talking about leaving Apple back in September 2013, and after formally being offered the position of Vice President of Core OS in December, Marineau-Mes accepted and signed a contract with Apple. 

He put in his resignation with BlackBerry on December 23 with a two-month notice, but there was one major problem: Marineau-Mes' contract said he had to give six-months notice if he were to resign.

Marineau-Mes signed the contract for a promotion to BlackBerry EVP of Platform Development on September 27, 2013 -- around the same time he was in talks with Apple. 

As a result, BlackBerry took Marineau-Mes to court over the matter.

Sebastien Marineau-Mes [SOURCE: Apple Insider]

The ruling was just handed down from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which decided that Marineau-Mes must fulfill a full six-month resignation before he can leave BlackBerry -- meaning he wouldn't be able to go to Apple until June 2014. 

This likely hurts for Marineau-Mes, but probably more so for BlackBerry. The Canadian company had Marineau-Mes sign that September contract as a promotion during a time when the company was in a promotional freeze (meaning promotions were put on hold, unless it was for someone they really wanted to hold onto).

"BlackBerry will not stand by while a former employee violates his employment contract," said BlackBerry. "It is unfortunate that we had to take this step, but we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that employees honor the agreements they make with us. When we enter into an agreement with an employee, as we have with Mr. Marineau, we expect him to honor his commitment just as he would expect that we will honor ours. We are pleased that the court has endorsed our position and ruled that the employee contract and its terms are valid."

It's unclear if Apple will wait until June for Marineau-Mes.

Apple and BlackBerry aren't the only poachers in the tech realm. In December 2013, one of Microsoft's top executives in charge of graphics -- Blaise Agüera y Arcas -- left Microsoft for Google's machine learning group.

Source: iMore

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RE: Good
By GotThumbs on 3/26/2014 4:16:31 PM , Rating: 4

The problem seems to be that not many of the commenters here understand the concept of a contract or the commitment one makes when signing on the dotted line of a contract. It's evidence of a mutual promise to follow through on the agreed terms.

I believe it shows a lack of ethical character if you think the contract was not binding. If a buyout clause was part of the contract, then that would have been an option. As it stands, there was no buyout option. If he were to ask for one, he probably would not have gotten the raise/promotion to begin with.

BB went on a limb giving this man a raise/promotion when the company had frozen promotions throughout the company for others. Because they went out on a limb to do this on good faith....they expect him to follow through on his commitment.

He is the one who should have better understood what he was signing IMO.

Apple may want to consider the fact that this guy was playing games and failed to fully understand what he was committing to when he signed the contract with BB.

In the US, this kind of BS may be common or easly accepted, but that's simply a reflection on the low moral/ethical character of the US society IMO.

Canada holds a higher standard apparently, as they expect an adult to follow through on his/her commitments.

If the man does anything contrary to protecting/benefiting BB, then he could be held liable for something similar to sabotage and then be liable for damages to BB.

He would be dumber than he already does, to do anything to hurt BB, as it would damage his reputation more IMO.

BB will be keeping an eye on him and making sure they get their moneys worth.

Nice to see Canada's justice system still believes in justice.

I wish the US would do the same.

~Best wishes on keeping what you earned.

RE: Good
By TheStoryUp on 3/26/2014 4:40:52 PM , Rating: 1
I think everyone here is off base on why BlackBerry did this. It's to set an example to the other employees that this type of action will not be tolerated. I'm sure this guy isn't the only one debating on leaving the company, and if one guy gets away with it then the rest of the employees will think they can get away with it too.

RE: Good
By Reclaimer77 on 3/26/2014 6:29:12 PM , Rating: 2
Oh right, I see. So people should be forced to go down with the ship and eventually get laid off with all the grace of a sudden boot up their ass.

Brilliant thinking there...

RE: Good
By Makaveli on 3/26/2014 7:23:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'll just leave this here.

Some of you may want to read it.

RE: Good
By sigmatau on 3/26/2014 8:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for that. It appears that the company can't do anything except make him wait 6 months before joining Apple. They cannot force him to work. That is the most obnoxious thing I've heard. Anything over six months would not have held up in court.

I doubt it, but I wonder if he can volunteer at Apple for the six months.

RE: Good
By Reclaimer77 on 3/26/14, Rating: -1
RE: Good
By sigmatau on 3/26/2014 6:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
So basically you are saying that Canada believes in indentured servitude. That would be very sad if Canada has such unethical laws. How exactly would they enforce him to work for Blackberry? This is a civil contract, not criminal punishment for something he was found guilty.

You can raise all the moral questions you want, but when it comes down to it this is a civil contract. If I say I will cut your tree down for $1000 and you pay me the $1000 before I cut it down and then I refuse to cut it down. Then, you cannot force me to cut down your tree. You can only get your $1000 back, maybe with some interest if that.

RE: Good
By Reclaimer77 on 3/26/2014 6:42:39 PM , Rating: 1
Canada holds a higher standard apparently

And they say America is run by the corporations! Ha!

Higher standard? Sounds like corporate slavery to me.

RE: Good
By sigmatau on 3/26/2014 7:07:09 PM , Rating: 1
That is exactly what he is saying. How would a court even enforce this civil contract in his terms? Would they actually send police to his job site? Would they jail him if he didn't work? Sounds like a 3rd world country to me.

I don't think they know the definition of a civil contract.

RE: Good
By Reclaimer77 on 3/26/2014 9:43:00 PM , Rating: 2
Are civil contracts like uber legally binding there or something? Wtf lol.

These people act like he's a criminal!

RE: Good
By ritualm on 3/27/2014 5:42:31 PM , Rating: 2
He can no longer be trusted to uphold the terms of a contract. Try putting a dollar figure on THAT.

Dude's professional reputation is finished, and not even Tim Cook can save him.

RE: Good
By Reclaimer77 on 3/27/2014 5:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
Contract smontrack. You go to work, do your job, then go home. And when you want to work for someone else, you go do that.

Professional reputation? Dude Apple KNEW about this contract, of course, and STILL tried to hire him. They didn't think he was scum of the universe apparently. I'll bet you real money he's not finished at all, and will still land high paying positions elsewhere.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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