What’s going on with BlackBerry’s SVP of Software resigning?

By Chris Umiastowski on 26 Mar 2014 03:55 pm EDT

Last night, in BlackBerry-related news, we found out that the well-regarded Senior VP of Software, Sebastien Marineau, has resigned from BlackBerry to accept a position of VP of Core OS at Apple. BlackBerry felt that its soon-to-be former executive violated their agreement so they brought the matter before the courts and prevailed.

For those unaware, Sebastien Marineau came over as part of the QNX acquisition, and worked very closely alongside Dan Dodge for many years. He’s a core OS guy, and his team was largely responsible for the creation of BlackBerry 10, in addition to owning the development of the micro kernel that drives it all.

I’ve seen quite a few stories about this and they seem to paint the wrong picture. They make it seem as if BlackBerry is forcing Mr. Marineau to keep working for them for another six months.

What’s really happening is that BlackBerry is enforcing an anti-compete clause in Marineau’s contract. This is standard practice in the industry and it looks like the courts made the right decision here.

Technically, the clause seems to be worded such that Marineau needs to give six months notice of resignation. But in reality, what happens is you hand in your resignation letter and leave the office. You then wait out the terms of the anti-compete clause.

Legally, since Marineau is still an employee of BlackBerry, he could be asked to do specific work. But I highly doubt that would happen. Once you tell your bosses that you are going to work for a competitor, you are walked to the door. You’re gone. It’s not smart to keep soon-to-be competitors in the office. You don’t want them involved in strategic decisions anymore.

The whole point of an anti-compete clause is so that employees do not have up-to-date information about their former employer when they join their new employer. That’s why clauses of six months tend to succeed, while some companies try to get very aggressive and ask employees to sign anti-compete agreements lasting 3 years. You know what happens when an employee violates that kind agreement? The court sides with the employee because it (mostly) isn’t fair to ask someone to be unemployed for 3 years.

Anyway, my take on this is that the courts made the right move. The OS is a key differentiator of BlackBerry right now, and Sebastian Marineau is a key employee who has been driving BlackBerry 10. It wouldn’t be fair to have him walk into the Apple campus in California immediately after resigning from BlackBerry.

I hope that helps explain what’s happening for those who are curious.

Topics: BBRY Editorial

Reader comments

What’s going on with BlackBerry’s SVP of Software resigning?


Guaranteed that 6 months after him joining Apple, he will poach some of the talent from Blackberry, especially from the QNX team.

 Posted by the Crackberry Pirate 

This ^^^
And I don't think apple hired him for his talent.
I think BlackBerry should watch for the patents.

Better android than android. The future is black....

@propeller10...I don't think Mike L on his death bed would allow access to this guy to visit,Jon Ives is no way in the same league as this guy.He was one of the few to have the pleasure when Steve Jobs Croaked.

There is more here than has been released. Many acquisition elements were alienated and isolated within RIM/ BBRY. Go take a look at what TAT or QNX is capable of; there are many videos on You Tube. And when I say capable, I mean years ago, well before acquisition. Then ask yourself where that creativity, power, scalability and design is within BB10.

Do you actually use BB10?

BB10 is the most powerful OS on the smart phone market by a country mile.

The fact BlackBerry can't market their products to save their lives has nothing to do with the relative merits of the technology employed.

Thank you, I was going to say something similar. But I will add, they have accomplished the best OS in a very short time frame. Amazing feat really.

Posted via CB10

It's that word "subset" that's the issue (and are you sure its based on Max OS X?)

Nothing to do with the processors as such. It's the fact it is a micro kernel real time OS with ability to be robust in the face of a myriad of requests. So robust its used to manage high volume applications like routers, and reliable enough to be used to manage safety/security applications such as medical applications - where an OS crash is just not acceptable.

Apple are willing to poach someone on the periphery of the OS design - that should give you a clue. Quite why they didn't buy BlackBerry I don't know. Or perhaps its just their interest would have sent the stock price up like a rocket.

What has that to do with 1magine comment?

BB10 is OK a year after it was launched, but lets be honest it has been a long year with many issues that a normal user is not going to live with from a modern device.

1magine was just commenting on the fact that there was a LOT of hype about what TAT and QNX were going to bring to BlackBerry's new OS.... most of which never materialized. BB10's footprint is huge and it's hardware requirements have killed any chance of it competing in the low end of the market. And the UI's that TAT demoed all those years ago (before most of them left the company) that were so cool and futuristic are no where in BB10.

Basically talented people are going to go where they have an opportunity for growth and expression, a good work environment along with a nice place to live, and also a bigger paycheck. None of those apply at BlackBerry anymore.

Nope. He isn't a loser. He wants to use his skills and expertise rather than wait for bbry to sort itself out and possibly be rewarded for his patience with a package.

This outcome is similar to so many with RIM/BBRY ... take too long to execute and you'll lose smart people. This particular gent has moved to a company that wants to use his skills and is known for letting people execute.

Posted via CB10

Why are his comments stupid? He is making a valid point. I bet most people here will jump to a job at apple with the perks they have to offer.

Posted via CB10

The problem here isn't that he jumped, but that he did so in a duplicitous fashion. He was negotiating with both parties and then gave BlackBerry false assurances and executed a contract with BlackBerry with what Chris argues is a form of non-compete clause. Given the timeline and conversations, it's likely that he never intended to honor his word and that he was staying around to benefit Apple. You could write a corporate espionage script about it. The contract needed to be enforced to stop this behavior from continuing with other employees...

Also, and there's no getting around this, it's possible that BlackBerry should have developed a secure fork of Android with a productivity layer on top of it as BB10. Amazon took a look at QNX/BB10 and didn't get it and, well, it's not clear it makes sense for BlackBerry. But, it does for Apple. Particularly, given that Apple needs someone to bring iOS and OSX together at a kernel level. Basically, QNX doesn't give BlackBerry users one single damn benefit at the end of the day except an underdeveloped ecosystem. But, Apple needs to connect the desktop computing world with mobile and consumer electronics, which is where embedded systems make sense. Basically, BlackBerry never took BB10 to a place where the QNX decision was justified and Apple is currently working on that kind of thing. My guess is that Apple gets a truckload of what would have been intellectual property when code was more easily patentable. BlackBerry needs to protect the assets it acquired by slowing this guy down -- because it is unlikely it can do so in the courts. But, also, BlackBerry needs to rethink the QNX decision altogether. Go in and push hard to build unheard if awesomeness that differentiates your devices and services or adopt Android or Tizen as a base and build on that...

Posted via CB10

"Basically, QNX doesn't give BlackBerry users one single damn benefit at the end of the day except an underdeveloped ecosystem"

You're obviously some kind of software genius.

If you had a clue about what QNX brings to the table, you'd realise why Apple was willing to take a chance on a guy that will take six months to get there (obviously he won't - he'll be working unofficially right now).

They are DESPERATE for QNX technology. But can't afford to be seen buying BlackBerry because the moment they step near a purchase the price will skyrocket.

QNX is about the future. It will enable BB10 OS to accept constant information feeds from sensors etc without noticeably slowing down the UI. It was incredibly far sighted of BlackBerry to buy QNX. They just lacked the ability to execute on its potential.

I don't think he is saying QNX purchase is bad. As per your argument, if QNX belongs to BlackBerry and QNX is wanted asset in the tech world, why didn't BlackBerry get sold?

I partially agree with his comment. BlackBerry have QNX. But so far, we don't see anything remarkable in bb10 yet. Everything bb10 does is same as android and iOS, except differently. So far bb10 doesn't show us anything unique. I think BlackBerry needs to show off soon.

Posted via CB10

Desperate for QNX technology... Oh boy, talk about a reality distortion field. And iOS, windows and android can't accept data from sensors without slowing the UI or what? Because it is RTOS and unix and linux are not? Do you even know what an RTOS means? If apple wanted to create an RTOS they could have done it, qnx is not the only example out there, the technology has been know as "the next great thing" for 20 years, and yet BB is the only one using it in the mobile market. Microkernels are not a magic stick that solves all kinds of problems.

Thank you. Some of the comments here are additional examples of people feigning a value system based around whatever benefits BB 10 has or doesn't have. It has a microkernel while iOS and Android don't, so now having a microkernel is a priority.

No. What were talking about is not that he was fielding two offers. We're talking about not being able to start working for Apple till he put in his notice to BB and 6 months have passed. People change their minds all the time. As long as he follows the 6 months he isn't doing anything wrong.

Ummm... I wrote the article and I said nothing about the guy's character or his reasons for moving.

I see nothing wrong with a smart guy changing jobs if he feels he isn't being g utilized effectively at his current job. I'm not criticizing his decision at all.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Then why go to Apple of all places? They are currently rudderless and saddled with a crumby OS. (iOS).. it would be years before they could swap everyone over. Besides they have so much legacy code written in Objective C.. blech.

I think that is why apple is paying him good to come over. They know they have a crappy OS compared to bb10. They also know he is the guy to get them moving forward.

Posted via CB10

But Apple has a history of hiring bright minds and then under the "guidence" of Jobs, doing exactly what Steve wanted.... as opposed to "change" or "thinking".

Besides it's not like SVP's write micro kernals anymore. They may have in the past, they may know what it takes to have a good one. But if he really wanted to be inovative he'd be over on the team doing the Ubuntu phone. That phone is going to really break up the current cash flow... interchangeable & replaceable plug compatible parts, a secure micro kernal. What it won't have is apps, but I bet they do an Android layer port....


They aren't going to "swap over" to QNX. They will show him what they have and how it works and he'll be there to give ideas on any improvements that he could impliment. Google got many of the Palm developers for Web OS. The main guy in fact (Matias Duarte).
September 2007 — May 2010, Palm, Inc., as VP, Human Interface and User Experience.

"Duarte was hired as the Vice President at Palm, Inc. in September 2007 to lead development of Palm’s webOS Human Interface and User Experience and introduced the design of webOS at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show.[9] Duarte described the Palm Pre as "a stone at the bottom of a riverbed, rubbed smooth over thousands of years."[10][11] Duarte is named as an inventor in 18 of Palm's pending US Patent applications. Duarte left Palm less than a month after it was acquired by HP."

"May 2010 — present, Google, as Director, Android User Experience - reporting to Sundar Pichai.
Duarte "is currently driving the interface and design for Android 3.0 (AKA Honeycomb), and it's clear that he's bringing his big, bold ideas to the Android platform."[2] As the lead designer for Android's push into Touchscreen tablet computing, Duarte has stated three goals: larger devices, evolving Android, and a better user interface.[8]"'

Are you saying that Android is now Web OS? No. He took what was in Android and improved it using what was there. This is what will happen with this guy. You don't know anything about Apples code. This guy might be very impressed with the code. Just because you don't like iOS doesn't mean it's crap.

"he's bringing his big, bold ideas to the Android platform".." three goals: larger devices, evolving Android, and a better user interface" wtf? are you in the PR dept?? Bold ideas are evolving the os, a better ui, and larger devices??? Give me a break!...

If that's what Apple wanted this guy for they truely wasted their money. As for Apple's code quality, again... "Objective C"... it says it all.

Then my apologies for jumping on you.

A good SVP can set the tone and direction for a whole division. A terrible one can drive all the creative and hard working people out. If this guy was any good, and he may have been, then it's a loss for BBRY. But then JC may have his own team to run things and wanted these guys out. That's pretty common for a new CEO of a company that needs to change and change fast or it's toast.

Loyalty? Do you think BlackBerry, the company, has any loyalty? He joined BlackBerry when QNX was purchased and brought BlackBerry OS 10 to market. He owes BlackBerry nothing beyond compliance with the non-compete agreement he willingly signed. Maybe he knows something about the future of BlackBerry smartphones that you don't know.

Posted via CB10

"LOYALITY always Wins in the end so Bye Bye Loser"

Wow, you are so out of touch with Business. Companies including BB will drop you like a hat if it's in their interest. Case in point is all the layoffs at Blackberry. You don't see all their top paid people taking less in an effort to save jobs. Loyalty doesn't win in the end. You have heard Good guys finish last saying? Yup. That's the people who think Loyalty always wins. He isn't the looser. BB will be the looser. They need him. He is talented and if he wants to leave because of a better job offer he'd be a fool to stay. Maybe he doesn't feel like BB is going to make it. Maybe he's tired of the fights or the environment that he deals with on a daily basis. Maybe he's tired of loosing vital people he needs to be successful. Way to judge someone you don't know. Bravo!

I'm wondering what's the reason to leave.. and what happens to BlackBerry 10 after he leaves..

Posted via CB10

Yea.. is it because of the new management reshuffle? Is it because he's had enough and doesn't see a future for BlackBerry?

These are important questions.. if he happens to be leaving for personal reasons (i.e. He doesn't get along with Chen then that's a dumb loss for the company) BUT if he's leaving due to the fact that he doesn't see any hope for BlackBerry then... we have a problem!!

Posted from my Awesome  Z30 |Juventus Channel: C0001C785

Interesting. Nice to see that Apple is showing an interest in BlackBerry. Perhaps they know that the QNX/BB10 architecture is the way to unlock the mobile path to the future...

Posted via CB10

Everyone knows that except the troll!

But will see how they can move away from their legacy mac and tosh

 Slicing using my 

I think Chris misses the wood for the trees - His original decision to leave (rather than this recent court revelation) is about the same time as Chen does a reverse ferret and decides to bring back the trackpad and buttons, something BB10 was never designed to work with - that's the critical bit, that the company is becoming increasingly reactionary based on Chen's personal preferences.

I'm not so sure about that. Court documents specify that he wasn't happy after him and Chen had a conversation about his role.

Or reactionary based on what consumers and sales (or lack thereof) are saying.

I haven't missed the trackpad and all that much, but if OS7 devices are still outselling BB10 devices, and diehard, longtime users are holding out because of the trackpad/belt of buttons, then bring them back for some devices.

We can speculate all day as to why this guy left. Buttons, OS, maybe he woke up and realized that California has nicer weather than Canada, and of course Apple is probably offering him a lot more money. Not up for speculation is the contract and the fact that he signed it.

No.... That's too big a conspiracy theory. The toolbelt decision is much more recent than his decision to leave.

It has to be a "garden leave " when you are not doing anything but you get paid. It might be that you are asked to come to office, but all communication and tools are taken away.
But usually you are not asked to come to office

Posted via CB10

This is a good description. When I was at TD most if us had gardening leave clauses in our contracts too. But they were pretty short as in (if I remember correctly) 2-4 weeks. Just long enough that you couldn't take some critical knowledge of your firm's activities and use it against them at a competitor in the short term.

In tech it makes sense for the terms to be a bit longer, hence the six months for Sebastian

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Contracts are very serious and nobody should try and break them, unless your on T-Mobile!

 BlackBerry Q10  KEEP THE FAITH

BlackBerry is doing some thinking good if Apple is buying up its talent.

Posted on my flagship Z30

Thanks for posting this, this is how I seen it based on yesterday's post.

There seemed be a lot of people who thought he would not be allowed to work for Apple and has to continue working for BB, and BlackBerry really showed him. It was driving me nuts.

You make it very clear in this post how things are going down, thanks!

Posted via CB10

Highly unethical of this individual, of course the courts made the right decision, Apple be warned,if he gets another offer he may just jump ship again. That's the type of thing that's going to happen and will adversely affect his employment history for perspective new employers in the future,obviously he wasn't thinking clearly or was ill advised

Posted via CB10

I wouldn't worry to much about his future. I think its more secure than most!!!

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

For the moment perhaps let's see what his future holds, it's like people who post nonsense and too much information about themselves on FB and employers see what's there to ascertain if an individual is employable. This being on his resume won't reflect very well for him. Chat with your HR Department they will inform you of how they will look at this.

Posted via CB10

Don't agree. There is nothing unethical about changing your mind because you get a better offer after you signed a new agreement. He just messed up by not sending the contract to Apple who would have told him to quit siting the clause and wait the 6 months. When you don't do this sort of thing you don't know the procedures you need to follow. Plain and simple he didn't know what the process was.

I doubt Apple is looking to copy BB10/QNX, my guess is they like what they have seen in its development and look at Seb as someone with the intellect they want working for them and not the competition. Great minds can have more than one great idea.

Posted via CB10


If he doesn't fully understand his contract... maybe accepting his resignation is an outstanding decision.

*stands and waves bye-bye*
See ya...wouldn't wanna be ya.

Posted via CB10

What I took away from the article was that Mr.Chen adjusted his job description and he wasn't happy with it. But what do I know...ha

This can be looked at either way.

Apple sees the good in him or...

Seb recognizes there is no future in BlackBerry.

Either way, we will never know.

Wonder if Apple will wait for Seb? Likely not given this has turned ugly.

In the end, Seb loses out.

Yes it's a BlackBerry. If you have something bad to say... speak to Easton!

Chris. Thanks for the info.
This is the only line that worries and confuses me in your article though.
"He’s a core OS guy, and his team was largely responsible for the creation of BlackBerry 10, in addition to owning the development of the micro kernel that drives it all."

Can you please explain if this can come back to haunt BlackBerry? Does this mean he can reproduce the operating system etc..etc....

Would love for you to elaborate.

Powered by BlackBerry

I think we all want to know! Will he create a Micro-Kernel for Apple to compete with QNX and BlackBerry directly?

Micro kernals are a dime a dozen... getting one is not hard. Converting all of your existing Apps and development environments... well that's another story. Apple has done it before but it was painful.

I have seen a few posts saying this will reflect negatively on his future job prospects. I respectfully disagree.

This man has been sought out for his skill set. The fact he tried to jump ship inside the 6 month Window has no bearing to Apple. If he could walk in the door tomorrow and start working for them they would gladly have him.

They want him for his talent not because he is able to jump ship right away. The ruling will have no effect on Apple's desire for him, he will just have to wait a little longer to get their. And I am glad this is the case because I believe this is in BlackBerry's best interest.

His track record will speak for itself and I doubt people at his level are hitting in doors handing out resumes, he will be known in the industry for his performance and achievements.

Posted via CB10

6 months does not seem like a long enough time, I'd expect at least 1 year for it to really safeguard BlackBerry and their ideas.

Posted via CB10

Looking at the timing of things, he accepted a promotion at BlackBerry and started talking to Apple in the same month. There's a term for that - "douchebag".

Posted via CB10

Yeah... that just sounds like apple offered him way more cash. I think that's pretty much the whole story. imagine if a company tried to hire you tomorrow offering twice your current salary. Hard to not get over excited and do something stupid then.

Posted via CB10

Anyone can be replaced! There are others in BlackBerry who know the system and it's gears...keep moving forward BlackBerry...innovation needs new blood...rock on Z30...woo-hoo woot woot no worries here...

Rocking the Z30 Regina SK Canada

Lets not be so hard on Seb. He is talented and the only reason to bring in outside help ( VP Core OS) is because Apple fails to innovate from within. Frankly, iOS has simple not progressed in any significant fashion for close to 3 years. Macrokernal design is a thing of the past and distributed computing is the future. Apple has to jump on the bandwagon sometime. Blackberry needs to patent the crap out of everything before the pretend innovators in California steal it.

My ex-boss before I became my own boss, always used to tell me "No one's indispensable". Business will go on!

Posted via CB10

Hold on, I'm indispensable...no really, no one can do it the way I do it.

As for Martineau, he'll just drift on down to cali, find a place, settle in, and work from home. Who would know? it's not like he has to wear an ankle bracelet. He's not being tracked (except for Google maybe).

Posted via CB10

If someone is hired by a company, gives it all they have but their performance is sub-par and they are let go is that unethical? Maybe.

If someone leaves a company by their choice for a better opportunity or they see the writing on the wall is that unethical? Maybe.

If Seb knew he was on his way out and looking for another opportunity I can't blame him, man has to pay his bills.

If I knew I was on the way out and was asked to sign a contract I wouldn't say no because I am looking for employment elsewhere, you need to CYA. And if all else failed he still be working at BB, my bet giving all he had for them. Reading between the lines it doesn't sound like he was the fit they wanted anymore, right or wrong. If it were me I'd be looking for where my next paycheck is coming from too.

What I do think would be unethical is going to another company and sharing previous company secrets or proprietary info. And for this reason I am glad the 6 month clause is enforced.

Posted via CB10

Best of luck to Sebastian going forward, and thanks for the great work you have done for BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Is it possible he knows the future of BB10 within BlackBerry and doesn't want any part of it?!

Posted via CB10

I would be honored to sign a contract to work for BlackBerry in any capacity. It's an awesome company with the most compelling mobile computing platform in existence. For this guy to figure 'the grass is greener' on the other side is ridiculous. Apple is not a 'greener pasture' and will soon be seeing a downturn in their profits. Seriously.

Posted via CB10

I applaud your loyalty but your thinking is kind of skewed.

BlackBerry was going down at the time. They were either going to be sold, he'd lose his job, or have to settle in with a new CEO with new line of thinking. Can't blame him for jumping ship to one of the most valuable companies on the planet.

If Chen is still commuting via BlackBerry Jet to California, he could hop on for a ride. And maybe their relationship might improve again. ;-)

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

JC doesn't seem to think he us worth keeping otherwise he would make this one heck of an offer.

Again, not real sure about JC.

Posted via Verizon Z10 - OS v10.1.2.2174

What's to stop him from getting on the phone and having a chat with some higher up at apple, not work mined you just a chat, the weather, house prices OSes , sailing ;)

Posted via CB10

He could spend his remaining time @ BB working from home, linked to a Cupertino server....

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

The guy can be replaced with a younger more passionate and more loyal person.

That is absolutely not a problem.

Maybe a problem for Apple if they get somebody as loyal as him.

Posted via CB10

Unless you are going to work for Apple in the front office and going to make tons of cash Apple is not the company you want to work for. Apple is a garbage employer and are nothing but greedy. They treat their employees like slaves, almost borderline slavery. Look at the top 100 employers in the U.S 2014, 2013, 2012. Apple is not on that list, Microsoft us though. Don't believe me. Here is the proof. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/best-companies/2014/list/

Apple, The New Evil Empire

Open in Evolution browser (the stock BB browser is removing the "money" subdomain), then delete the "rel=nofollow" including the space at the end of the link

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Wait a minute...what's the list got to do with anything? You do realize there are more than just 100 great companies, right? I'm not saying Apple is or isn't, but if they were #102 on that list and offered good pay, people wouldn't want to work for them?

I would be interested about reading about them treating employees like slaves, that's really interesting. Can you share what you've read on that?

Let him go.

He does not want to work for you.

What innovations do you think he will create for you - while desperately looking at the apple?

And that goes for any other emplyee.

Let people go that do not believe in the mission.

They are not success factors if they don't believe.

Posted via CB10

Thank you Chris, people come and go, that is a part of business. As they do companies must protect themselves. For me this shows just how strong RIM, BlackBerry BB10 is currently and the threat it is becoming each day.

Love your post.

Chen will run BlackBerry like a software company ie: and Lawyers play a big role !

Z30 : posted via CB10 app

He should be careful even afterwards. The knowledge he acquired while at QNX /BlackBerry is still the property of BlackBerry. They cannot just duplicate BBM and QNX because he may know how.

Posted via CB10

If only Steve Jobs acquired QNX the iPhone would have been the ultimate device back in 2007. Now they trying to steal this guy away and he's actually leaving. To bad Apple was too late to the game. BlackBerry will always have QNX.

Powered by my BlackBerry (Z10). Join my #BBM Channels C001227CF, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3

It's interesting to see the head of the team that delivered BlackBerry 's 'unpopular ' BB10 operating system being snatched up by the competition.

While the population continues to sleep walk into Android's arms, people in the know understand just how valuable QNX and QNX based systems really are.

There's still far too many doubters, but overall this news bodes well under the surface.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z30

Sleepwalk into Android's arms....

That's is one awesome way to say what's happening....

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Now he'll go to apple and try to incorporate blackberry os into there's. Smh. May not b good for BlackBerry. What do u guys think about that?

Posted via CB10

So is he able to steal the ideas...could we see BB10 style OS at Apple in the future?

Posted via CB10

Ugh, super steep uphill battle to climb on of for BlackBerry. Its looking increasingly bleak. How long can they last?

BBM Channel: The Group Ride C00055B7C

Well.. Mes is Dutch actually. His name is composed... Part French part Dutch.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Well apple is listed as a sponsor of qnx on their (QNX) website. So who knows maybe apple will invent the micro kernel

Posted via CB10

Going to Apple to me that's like telling selling secrets about your own country ...Apple is for sheep..


It may simply come down to:

1) A guy who wants to be involved with products that make a big impact on the marketplace

2) But the prospect of that after BB10s market failure, the company shrinkage and retrenchment to prioritizing software for at least the next 1-2 years, along with the limited progress QNX is able to make with the limited resources of BlackBerry behind it, is not good.

3) Whereas a company like Apple who is positioned to have a real impact on the market is a much more appealing job for an embedded systems guy who really wants to see the fruits of their labor gain some popularity.

Thanks for the article, Chris. I've not been following this story, but I've been hearing the rumblings of all sorts of drama about BB and Apple. You've made it sound like a pretty standard and sensible business practice and even going to court is more a matter of formality.

IMO, this guy is a core OS guy.. I don't think BlackBerry needed him anymore now that the bb BB10 is past that phase, but interestingly Apple acquiring this guy just means that they are in fact working on core OS of some kind. For Apple, they probably won't get another guy who has similar experience and knowledge for doing such job. Especially, if apple wants to have a new OS and also be able to run their legacy apps on the new OS. This guy is tailored for such task..

For BlackBerry, you can't keep someone who is willing to go, however, you know that person better than who he is leaving you for.. Slow him down as much as you can and pick up pace on your own projects. I truly think that the guy working on Apple's next generation OS is from BlackBerry.. they can anticipate what's coming..

And truth be told... Apple has never been an innovative company, they take ideas from elsewhere and call them their original, but it's okay until they can get people to believe it..

Now, Google guys.. whole new ball game..

Posted via CB10

perfectly logical! this answers my question reg. keeping your soon-to-be competitors held right under your nose...

Actually, if he's leaving for competitor, I would just let him go asap. I would kick him out in an instant. He better not be involve for any up coming meetings, events. If he didn't honor the regulations of his resignations. What makes you think he would not honor to keep a secret about blackberry's new strategies.

" Initiated from my Q10 "

Apple is a dying and useless company which is why they desperately need BlackBerry employees. Ios is garbage and only a fool would use an outdated apple product. Apple looks to be useless for another six months. Apple will release another iphone6same and the clueless and behind the times fanboys will cheer like fools

Posted via CB10

Doubt it. Apple zombies are harder to convert than a Mormon.

If I hadn't shot the dice in the bb10 direction (out of mere curiosity), I'd probably still own an iPhone.

Sheer ignorance and complacency.

I think the real question now is... what would Chris U pay for the new single copy wu tang album? That might need it's own post.

Posted via CB10

....fear not my "Crackelberrian" followers. It's all part of the master plan, he will infiltrate Apple pretending to embrace the opportunity while at the same time reporting back to BlkBrry the inside scoop. The court gig was all part of a convincing show, played well. All while collecting a fat paycheck from the "forbidden" fruit while he develops a "wrecking ball" plan for the ios system...........genius, evil is bliss!! "(You don't have to love me..........just do as I say!)"

Obviously the big red fruit knows who has the most efficient OS and wants to tap into that. Good luck big red fruit.

Everyone knows QNX enjoys a rich history, much like the NeXT OS. Methinks Sebastien will dive right into Mac OS XI development. Hope BB 10 can survive.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

If you analyze the OS loaders, you will notice that the name RIM stills exists. This should be an indicator as to how far ahead of us BlackBerry OS team actually is working at. My guess is a year, so that bugs me to know that this piece of work has future knowledge that no doubt, apple will use against us.

You know, I had a certain type of respect for the Apple empire, while their true talent (Jobs) was in seat, but since his demise, it appears that apple no longer innovates, but seems to lately imitate; hence the 'hire'.

Glad I ditched my iPhone for BlackBerry. I'll never go back to apple for anything.
Microsoft laptop/BlackBerry handset combo for me.

Apple hired him to help transitioning their core OS to QNX most likely with the Carplay. Which they could have done pretty well without it and going along with the already signed QNX partnership but clearly, apple doesn't have the manpower to go through a flawless integration so they would just rather buy it.

As for that 6 month period, it's just plain standard in the technology industry. I don't see the fuss and the whole deal around a company enforcing a specifically well described rule in someone's contract. But most media have a good talents for dramatic article simply because drama seems to sell more than actual facts for most people.

The time where apple can just swallows xerox GUI and Microsoft sneak in apple for spreadsheet development and come back with a competitive GUI are over. That 6 month buffer is just a standard nowadays. Patents are patents...

Posted via CB10

Mike L saw QNX potential but thor and the BlackBerry dev team resisted. I understand the dev team because the new OS not being developed in house (but by an acquisition) was like a slap in the face but had to be thor on the other hand did nothing but massive damage to BlackBerry. He then went and tried to sell a business tool as an iPhone beater hence massive over stock. Don't even start me on PlayBook lies. And before someone tries to defend him by saying he wasn't responsible then what the hell was he doing he was CEO the buck stops there!

Tapping and flicking on my Zed 10

Definitely loads of cash officially and unofficially, Apple is showing how it has run out of productivity.

Posted via CB10

The oft repeated refrain 'that anyone is replaceable' is a huge misperception that will come back and bite the corporation that takes that view. My view is quite the opposite: that key people and key programers are essential to the life and success of the company. Behind Steve Jobs is Steve Wozniak - humble programming genius. RIM had trouble meeting deadlines and doing the transition to QNX. What I would like to know is did they lose, mistreat or misuse their star players / programmers and is this story 'one more example' of Canada losing great talent?

Problem: This had little to do with a non-compete clause; it was simple contract enforcement.

When brought into that position (at a time when promotions and most key position hires were frozen), he got his new gig and signed his contract of employment and non-compete agreement (no such term as an "anti-compete).

According to Fitz-enz and others, the cost of turnover of senior staff can be well over 30 percent of that person's annual salary (head-hunter's costs, direct HR costs, attorney fees, flying candidates in and out, etc.--not to mention sign-on and retention bonuses). Departure clauses are often created to help companies communicate that the candidate can't simply waltz in and out and to help civilize the rampant poaching we know already happens. The time frame--here 6 months--isnt that uncommon. Did he have to stay and work at BlackBerry? Kinda.

Thing is that he was negotiating two contracts at the same time--both with Waterloo and Cupertino. Shame on him and the Courts were right to enforce a contract he signed...then tried to skate out on with only a third of the required notice.

Non-compete agreements protect intellectual property and core customers. Often given a bit of the side-eye by the courts if too broad, they generally say you are restricted in a similar industry for two YEARS or so. Withoyt the departure clause, he cold have gone to work as CIO for WalMart right away.

This had nothing to do with a non-compete.

HR Professor (Bix psych doctorate)
Designer of exec comp systems

Posted via CB10

I think after acquisition of companies its a new trend in knocking the main guy.

But I hope it works both ways and this guy messes the whole apple system.

Just sayin :P

Posted via CB10

It's an acknowledgement that BB10 has potential for the future.
Or Apple just realise that software development is also important :p

Posted via CB10

I think depending on the position, high level employees like him should have a clause of one to three years prohibition to work for a competitor. Of course the employees should be paid according to the terms. Company like BlackBerry should have no problem supplementing the income of said employee.

If he owns the micro kernals, could he sell them to apple, and result in apple sues BlackBerry for infringement and demand money per device?

Smoked by my BBQ10

The fact that he is joining the izombie army takes him down a peg in my books. I like having a choice instead of being told what I want.

Knowledge is power... Posted via CB10

He is a business man first. maybe he is making a move that will allow him to make product he feels is worthy. Maybe things were not going in a direction he liked at BB. We will not know as this was his decision.
As for the Non-compete being enforced. I totally agree with that choice. They are a tech company trying to push out the newest and best while competing directly with this person new employers. BB needs time to adjust their strategy and move forward. especially after losing someone so integral to the development of the current OS.

Again, this was not a non-compete issue. Provisions in non-competes generally restrict the industry one can be hired in for 2-3 years. This was about his employment contract.

Posted via CB10

So as I understand it he tendered his resignation in September which would mean the 6 months are up about... now...

What's stopping him from applying his knowledge of the same technology into Apple products?

Posted via CB10

Much as many of us like BB10, it has not been a commercial success. Some of that failure has to be attributable to the design decisions made by this guy.

A lot of the good stuff that made the traditional BlackBerry devices successful was discarded in the rush to implement QNX. Most of us using a Z10 or Q10 have learnt to live without things like the trackpad (can't bring myself to say toolbelt). For a lot of BlackBerry users the change to what is essentially just another iOS/Android clone without the familiar features of the legacy OS, was simply too much. The dogmatic 'old bb bad- QNX good' approach really just meant that BB10 ended up being a pale imitation of iOS/Android without maintaining any of the user experience from the legacy OS.

Despite how technically brilliant QNX might be, BB10 has so far been a failure. This failure is due to a lot of different reasons but at least some of that failure is due to the design of BB10 alienating many of the core of BlackBerry users.

On balance, maybe it is better that someone who understands the market that BlackBerry must pursue is making design decisions rather than someone who has come from a QNX OS background. It doesn't matter how technically clever your product is, if the users and the market don't like it, you have got it wrong. A year after the launch of BB10 it is clear that the market as a whole -along with a large part of what was previously considered to be the BlackBerry faithful- simply don't like it. This is a failure of product design as much as marketing.

Some of this might be controversial to cb readers but no amount of flaming here is going to fix BB10. Only better design and providing what users actually want is going to do that. Maybe someone new taking over from this guy can help to provide that.

Posted via CB10

I'm guessing Apple will later release a new feature in their iOS8 that originated from BlackBerry brought over by their soon-to-be new employee...and Apple will claim they invented it and sell millions. Ah, typical Apple story.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

It's the same in F1 teams where key employees such as Technology Director need to wait a "gardening leave " before start working for a competitor.

It's just fair since it's a closed market and proprietary information are valuable.

Posted via CB10

6 months ? LOL joke ! You cant change the base code that quick when the top man leaves to your main competition... cheaper to pay him for 3 years, give him a phone and a PC at home and make him customer care for us loyal customers to sort our issues out.