BlackBerry Halts Sale Process and Ousts CEO
BlackBerry has altered course and is no longer seeking to sell itself. The company today announced that it plans to replace CEO Thorsten Heins, replace several board members, and has secured $1 billion in financing from Fairfax Financial and other investors. The company was originally awaiting word from Fairfax Financial on a deal that would have seen the smartphone maker sold in its entirety to the private equity firm for $4.7 billion. Fairfax's deal had a deadline set to expire today. That deal is now off the table, as Fairfax was unable to raise the entire $4.7 billion. Instead, Fairfax is making a major investment in the company and Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa will join BlackBerry's board. Fairfax is bringing in John S. Chen to serve as Executive Chair of BlackBerry's Board of Directors and interim CEO while the company searches for a new chief executive. Chen will replace Heins, who will resign once the deal closes. Heins has been CEO since January 2012, when he replaced former co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. "Today's announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of preeminent, long-term investors," said Barbara Stymiest, Chair of BlackBerry's Board. "The Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders. This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position. We are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner."
BlackBerry CEO Says Smartphone Biz Is On a Timer
John S. Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, admitted that its recent handsets have not sold as well as he hoped.
BlackBerry CEO Says 2016 May Be Last Year for Smartphones
BlackBerry CEO John S. Chen today said its smartphone business needs to generate a profit in 2016, "Otherwise, I have to think twice about what I do there." Chen's comments offer more insight into BlackBerry's frame of mind regarding smartphones.
BlackBerry All But Gives Up On Smartphones
BlackBerry CEO John S. Chen said the company plans to reduce the number of handsets it makes each year to one or two.
BlackBerry to Kill Off Smartphone-Making Business
BlackBerry today said it will no longer make and sell its own smartphones. Instead, it will rely on original device manufacturers to design and make devices that will carry BlackBerry branding and software.