Back in 2013, BlackBerry’s SVP of Software, Sebastien Marineau-Mes, was offered a job at Apple and decided to formally vacate his role in December and tendered his resignation. It seemed like standard procedure but apparently BlackBerry wasn’t too pleased about it.
We’re not sure if they weren’t happy that one of their employees was being poached by Apple or if they were simply upset that he did not fulfill his contractual obligations, but they have since filed a lawsuit against Marineau-Mes, claiming that he would be breaching his contract by leaving for Apple.
Apparently when Marineau-Mes took up the position at BlackBerry, he signed a contract which stated that he would have to give the company at least six months notification before he was allowed to leave. He has only given two.
However it should be noted that at the time Marineau-Mes signed his contract (on the 27th of September), BlackBerry was reportedly under a promotional freeze and it was also then that he was in negotiations with Apple. Ultimately the court decided that he should fulfill his contractual obligations.
According to a statement that BlackBerry has since released, “BlackBerry will not stand by while a former employee violates his employment contract. 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.”
Assuming that Apple still wants Marineau-Mes, it looks like they will have to wait at least until June before they will be able to bring him on board, assuming that they don’t find someone else to take his place before then (Marineau-Mes could have signed a contract with Apple already for all we know).