Menu
BlackBerry now seeks lenders not buyers ... and new CEO

BlackBerry now seeks lenders not buyers ... and new CEO

Foundering BlackBerry has given up for now on finding a buyer. Instead the smartphone company is seeking an infusion of cash from some investors, and shaking up its board and executive leadership.

Foundering BlackBerry has given up for now on finding a buyer. Instead the smartphone company is seeking an infusion of cash from some investors, and shaking up its board and executive leadership.

The company will also be getting a new CEO.

In a statement issued this morning, the company said it will raise about $US1 billion by selling convertible notes. Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, which had proposed buying BlackBerry for $US4.7 billion and had until today to complete a close examination of BlackBerry's finances, will buy a chunk of the notes, paying about $US250 million for them. Other unnamed "international investors" will pick up the rest.

CEO Thorstein Heins, who has run BlackBerry for less than two years, will resign once the transaction is done. He was named CEO in early 2012, taking over for founders Michael Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie.

As part of the leadership shakeup, John Chen, formerly chairman and CEO of Sybase from 1998 until it was acquired by SAP in 2010, will become Executive Chair of BlackBerry's Board of Directors. He will also act as interim CEO during a search for a new chief. Fairfax Chairman and CEO Prem Watsa becomes lead director and chair of the compensation, nomination and governance Committee.

Heins and board member David Kerr will resign from the board once the deal closes.

A convertible debenture is a type of unsecured loan that can be converted into stock by its holder. Because of the conversion, BlackBerry pays a lower interest rate on the loan. But it's unclear what the extra billion dollars in capital will do for the smartphone maker, since it's primary strategic goal, set before Heins took over, was to bet on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system and a new portfolio of smartphones running it to turn around the company's fortunes.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnwwEmail: john_cox@nww.com

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesBlackberrywirelessNetworkingSAPconsumer electronicsanti-malwaresybase

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the leading customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the leading customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments