BlackBerry fires CEO, Fairfax buyout plan fails

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BlackBerry has announced that the planned $4.7 billion buyout by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has failed to materialise and that it will instead raise $1 billion in capital and replace its CEO Thorsten Heins as it seeks to re-establish itself. Fairfax will be participating in the round of financing by contributing $250 million and will in turn see its CEO and chairman, Prem Watsa, gain a seat on BlackBerry’s board of directors.

They’ve also announced that CEO Thorsten Heins will be stepping down from his role at the company and will be replaced by John Chen, a former CEO of Sybase who was acquired by SAP. Chen said:

“BlackBerry is an iconic brand with enormous potential – but it’s going to take time, discipline and tough decisions to reclaim our success”

BlackBerry recently brought its popular BBM messaging service to Android and iOS and had reported 20 million new users within the first week of the service going live.  What now remains to be seen is whether BlackBerry can, under Chen, resurrect themselves from a smartphone market that has seen them fall to the way side under pressure from Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems.

The full statement is available on BlackBerry’s website.

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