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Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 08:07 pm PT (11:07 pm ET)

BlackBerry sues exec to stay after being poached by Apple

A Canadian court ruling issued on Tuesday reveals BlackBerry is holding an employment contract over SVP of Software Sebastien Marineau-Mes' head, blocking his departure from the flailing company after being hired away by Apple last year.

Marineau-Mes

Sebastien Marineau-Mes. Source: QNX


The Ontario Superior Court of Justice's ruling notes Marineau-Mes discussed leaving BlackBerry in September of 2013 and was formally offered the position of VP of Core OS in December, reports iMore. He accepted and handed in his letter of resignation on Dec. 23.

According to the court document, BlackBerry then sued Marineau-Mes over a breach of contract terms that stipulated the executive needed to provide at least six months notice before leaving the company. That contract was signed in September when the company promoted Marineau-Mes. At the time, BlackBerry was carrying out a freeze on all promotions.

The court sided with BlackBerry and agreed that the software exec needs to stay on for a full six months.

In a statement to iMore, BlackBerry said:
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.

It is unclear if Apple will wait the four months for Marineau-Mes and what the executive will do at BlackBerry in the meantime.