BlackBerry Ltd Sues Its Software SVP Who Moved To Apple Inc.

Updated on

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has filed a lawsuit against its (ex-) senior vice president for software, Sebastien Marineau. The ailing Canadian company claimed that Marineau violated his terms of employment, according to court documents reviewed by Will Connors of the Wall Street Journal. The lawsuit has been filed in the Ontario Supreme Court.

Marineau left BlackBerry on just two months’ notice

Sebastien Marineau quit BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) less than six months after getting a promotion. The contract required him to give BlackBerry six months’ notice before leaving the company. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) offered Marineau a job in its operating systems division in December 2013. On December 23, Marineau offered a written resignation to BlackBerry, saying that he would head out to Cupertino in two months’ time. Now the Canadian smartphone maker wants him to serve for the remaining four months.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s top management underwent a massive overall in November 2013 when John Chen was named new CEO of the company. Subsequently, the Waterloo-based company told Marineau his job will get “narrower in scope” than originally thought as John Chen continued with his turnaround plan. That was unacceptable to Mr. Marineau, who around the same time received a job offer from Apple.

BlackBerry will do everything to make sure employees honor their contracts

The Canadian company termed the lawsuit “unfortunate,” but emphasized that it expects Marineau to fulfill the terms of the employment contract. A BlackBerry spokeswoman said that the company will not tolerate the violation of its terms. It will take every necessary step to ensure that employees honor their contracts. The initial court judgement favored BlackBerry. The court ruled that the John Chen-led company’s terms and employment contracts are valid. And that Mr. Marineau violated the terms by leaving the company to work at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

The judge ruled that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is “entitled to costs.” Shares of the Canadian smartphone maker inched up 0.64% to $9.42 in pre-market trading Wednesday.

Leave a Comment