BlackBerry announces boardroom shake-up

BlackBerry announces boardroom shake-up

Canadian smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry has announced a further boardroom shake-up following the departure of chief executive officer (CEO) Thorsten Heins earlier this month.

HumanIPO reported at the start of November Thorsten Heins was set for a US$22 million payday after leaving the company following the abandonment of plans to sell itself to Fairfax Financial Holdings in favour of raising US$1 billion in convertible debentures from a group of private investors.

BlackBerry has now said three top executives, including its chief financial officer (CFO), are stepping down from its board. Brian Bidulka will be replaced as CFO by James Yersh, while chief operating officer (COO) Kristian Tear and chief marketing officer (CMO) Frank Boulben will also leave, with their replacements yet to be named.

Board member Roger Martin has resigned.

“BlackBerry has a strong cash position and continues, by a significant margin, to be the top provider of trusted and secure mobile device management solutions to enterprise customers around the world,” said interim CEO John Chen, who said there would be more management changes in future.

“Building on this core strength, and in conjunction with these management changes, I will continue to align my senior management team and organisational structure, and refine the company’s strategy to ensure we deliver the best devices, mobile security and device management through BES 10, provide multi-platform messaging solutions with BBM, and expand adoption of QNX embedded systems.”

At the end of September BlackBerry reported a second quarter loss of US$965 million, subsequently cutting its workforce by more than one third, while in October it wrote an open letter to its customers talking up its credentials and emphasising they can still “count on BlackBerry”.

This month has also seen a managerial shake-up in Africa, with BlackBerry appointing Yudi Moodley as its new managing director (MD) for the continent, in place of Alexandra Zaguy.

Moodley said: “Africa is one of BlackBerry’s key markets. As I take up this new role, I will continue to work with our local partners to serve all of our customers and focus on driving the ongoing adoption of the BlackBerry 10 platform as well as BBM, which is popular among Africans across the continent.”

Moodley joined BlackBerry in 2010 and previously worked at South African mobile network Cell C.

Posted in: Mobile

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