New BlackBerry chief removes some top executives


Earlier on November 8, the company ousted its then CEO Thorsten Heins. He was replaced by John. S. Chen.

Now less than three weeks after ousting Heins, the struggling smart phone maker announced on Monday that Chief Operating Officer Kristian Tear and Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben will leave the company as part reorganisation of the firm.

“I thank Kristian and Frank for their efforts on behalf of BlackBerry. I look forward to working more directly with the talented teams of engineers, and the sales and marketing teams around the world to facilitate the BlackBerry turn around and to drive innovation,” BlackBerry’s new Executive Chair and CEO John Chen said in a statement.

In addition, Brian Bidulka has been replaced as chief financial officer by James Yersh, who was head of compliance, although he will remain with BlackBerry for the balance of its fiscal year as an adviser.

Roger Martin, the former dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, also announced his resignation as a director, a position he has held for six years.

Earlier this month, BlackBerry called off a $4.7 billion tentative deal to sell itself to Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and instead said it would continue as a public company under Mr. Chen’s leadership and a $1 billion investment from Fairfax and others.

The executive-suite shake-up isn’t entirely surprising. Messrs. Boulben and Tear were handpicked by former CEO Thorsten Heins when Mr. Heins took the helm at BlackBerry in early 2012.

Mr. Boulben, a native of France, had been at New York wireless company LightSquared before being hired at BlackBerry. He will likely be best remembered for running BlackBerry’s first Super Bowl commercial, in February, and for hiring pop singer Alicia Keys as a representative for the company.

Mr. Tear, from Sweden, previously served as an executive at Sony Ericsson.

Along with Heins, who is from Germany and a former Siemens executive, they were widely blamed for the failure of the BlackBerry 10 line of phones, which was introduced this year and was supposed to be BlackBerry’s salvation.

“I will continue to align my senior management team and organizational structure and refine the company’s strategy to ensure we deliver the best devices, mobile security and device management,” said Chen  who is commuting to BlackBerry’s headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, from California.

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