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BlackBerry deal is dead: CEO leaves and company gets $1 billion in new investment

News by Andrew Kameka on Monday November 04, 2013.

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The $4.7-billion deal that was to sell BlackBerry to a financial firm is no more. Instead of paying money to fully acquire the struggling manufacturer, Fairfax Financial Holdings and others will invest $1 billion and search for a permanent replacement for departing CEO Thorsten Heins.

BlackBerry has just announced that CEO Thorsten Heins, who took over the company in 2012 when its co-founders and co-CEOs resigned, will step down from both the BlackBerry board and his role as CEO. John S. Chen will take as interim CEO and Executive Chair of the company's board. Chen released the following statement about joining BlackBerry:

"BlackBerry is an iconic brand with enormous potential - but it's going to take time, discipline and tough decisions to reclaim our success.I look forward to leading BlackBerry in its turnaround and business model transformation for the benefit of all of its constituencies, including its customers, shareholders and employees."

Heins had attempted to resurrect BlackBerry at a time when the company continued to fade in the face of competition from Google's Android and Apple's iPhone. The departing executive explored selling BlackBerry to other smartphone vendors after the BlackBerry 10 launch failed to provide sustainable growth, and eventually sought to sell to Fairfax. BlackBerry Co-Founder Mike Lazaridis also expressed an interest in acquiring BlackBerry, along with financial partners and backing from Qualcomm, but Fairfax has decided to invest more money to continue independently operating BlackBerry and seek alternative means to rebound.

source: BlackBerry

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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