The deal was confirmed today and will, along with a cash injection, see changes to the management team – including that top spot CEO role currently held by Thorsten Heins.
“Today’s announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of pre-eminent, long-term investors,” said Barbara Stymiest, Chair of BlackBerry’s Board. “The BlackBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders. This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position. Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner for their needs.”
If all goes well, the deal is set to close in around two weeks, at which point Heins plans to step down from board, and additionally, from the Chief Executive role.
John S Chen, former chairman and CEO of Sybase, will now be the Executive Chair of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors and will also take over as Interim Chief Executive Officer while the company looks for a new leader.
Seeking external investment or a buyer willing to take the company private has been BlackBerry’s primary plan for the future since at least August this year, and while it couldn’t manage the latter, it has at least secured some cash.
Once a dominant brand in the consumer and enterprise mobile markets alike, BlackBerry has in recent years fallen in popularity from users in both segments due to a delayed reaction in responding to changes in the smartphone world, such as the transition to full touch screen devices and the ecosystems that grew around those devices.
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