BlackBerry Executive Ordered to Fulfill 6-Month Resignation Term Before Leaving for Apple
March 26, 2014 1:46 PM
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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.
, 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.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
3/28/2014 7:30:31 AM
I tend to think that this simply serves to underscore that so many executives are leaving Blackberry at this time (though I still come across the odd contract job they are trying to fill) for a very good reason. From Blackberrys perspective, they want to retain their top staff and therefore this move is probably more to do with sending a message to other key staff that they will hold you to the terms of your employment regarding notice period, should you want to leave for other potential ship-jumpers. There are many subtle ways to damage a company that you don't enjoy working for, though with Blackberry's brand having fallen into the gutter, his options are limited. Maybe he could just turn up to work every day and block all the toilets with paper towels :)
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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