Talking tech since 2003

We told you about the $4.7 billion BlackBerry takeover proposal led by Fairfax Financial that was offered up a few months ago, where BlackBerry would become a private company and Fairfax would likely put their own people on the executive team with hopes to turn the company around.  Unfortunately, that deal, as it were, appears to have fallen through. The deal had to be done by today (November 4) and it was reported that Fairfax was having trouble securing the the $4.7 billion it needed to complete the full takeover.  So instead of a full takeover, BlackBerry is going to receive an investment of $1 billion from Fairfax and a group of other institutional investors as it seeks to steer a new course, preferably one towards success.

The new infusion of cash into the business will involve some major reshuffling at board level, starting with CEO Thorsten Heins, who is stepping down to be replaced by interim CEO John S. Chen.  Right now, Chen is just being called the interim leader, taking up the role of CEO and Executive Chair of BlackBerry’s board, I’m guessing his performance will dictate whether or not he remains on as CEO into the future.

Nonetheless, Chen comes with strong credentials. He most recently played an instrumental role in turning around the fortunes of Sybase, a company that was once in a similarly bad situation akin to the one BlackBerry is in now.  He has experience in the mobile enterprise business, which will be an asset and could potentially point to the future direction of the company.

BlackBerry (BBRY) stock is currently down over 15 percent.


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