BlackBerry scraps bid for buyer, ousts CEO

BlackBerry scraps bid for buyer, ousts CEO

BlackBerry abandoned hopes of finding a buyer, and instead pegged its future on a $1 billion cash infusion and new management, after the departure of its chief executive.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company’s announcement comes nearly three months after its largest shareholder Fairfax Financial offered to buy the rest of the business and take it private.

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Fairfax instead announced it will invest $1 billion in a private placement, and Fairfax chief Prem Watsa will be lead director and CEO Thorsten Heins will step down, and will be replaced on an interim basis by John Chen.

[blockquote cite=”Barbara Stymiest, chair of BlackBerry’s board.”] Today’s announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of preeminent, long-term investors
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  • Social network website Facebook, Chinese computer maker Lenovo and investment firm Cerberus backed by two BlackBerry founders reportedly kicked the tires, but no deals were reached by today’s deadline.
  • BlackBerry helped create a culture of mobile users glued to smartphones, but lost its luster as many have since moved to iPhones or devices using Google’s Android software.
  • BlackBerry unveiled a new platform in January as it sought to regain lost momentum, but its most recent numbers suggest this has been a spectacular failure.

The company announced in September that it was lying off 4,500 staff — or one third of its global workforce — after losing $965 million in its last quarter as sales plummeted.

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