BlackBerry has won a court battle against a former senior vice president who broke his contract to leave for Apple, iMore reports.
Last September, Sebastien Marineau-Mes began discussions with Apple to leave his position at BlackBerry for a position on Apple’s operating-system team after nearly three years at the company.
In December, he was given a formal offer from Apple to serve as vice president of Core OS, the team responsible for code shared between Mac OS X and iOS, according to the court opinion posted by iMore. Two days before Christmas, Marineau offered his resignation to BlackBerry and said he’d be leaving for Apple in about two months.
But two months wasn’t enough notice, according to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling released on Monday. The same month Marineau began discussions with Apple, he was promoted to executive vice president at BlackBerry during a promotion freeze at the company. Then, in October, he signed a contract saying he would give six months notice if he decided to leave.
BlackBerry decided that Marineau’s move was a big enough slight that it was worth taking him to court. And it won: The Ontario court decided that he had to fulfil his obligation.
It’s not clear what that means for Marineau and his position at Apple — the odds are slim that either he or BlackBerry would want him to continue working at the company. Here’s BlackBerry’s official statement:
“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 honour 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 honour his commitment just as he would expect that we will honour ours. We are pleased that the court has endorsed our position and ruled that the employee contract and its terms are valid.”
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