The Washington Post

BlackBerry to replace three other top executives


A visitor passes the BlackBerry stand during the Apps World Multi-Platform Developer Show in London on Oct. 23. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

BlackBerry announced Monday that it’s replacing three more executives — chief operating officer Kristian Tear, chief marketing officer Frank Boulben, and chief financial officer Brian Bidulka — as part of a the “on-going reorganization” at the company.

In a statement Monday, BlackBerry said Tear and Boulben will leave the company. Bidulka will remain at the firm as a “special advisor” to interim chief executive John Chen for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The news comes just weeks after BlackBerry announced that it had decided against previous plans for a sale that would take the firm private, announcing instead that it had received a $1 billion investment from a number of institutional investors. They included Fairfax Financial Holding Limited, which had previously made a bid for the Waterloo, Ontario company.

At that time, the firm — which has mounted a troubled attempt to regain smartphone market share against competition from firms such as Samsung and Apple — also replaced chief executive Thorsten Heins with Chen, a tech veteran who previously served as chief executive of Sybase. He has also been appointed as BlackBerry’s executive chair.

Chen did not announce replacements for Boulben and Tear, who were both appointed by Heins and been in their positions for roughly a year. But he did name BlackBerry executive James Yersh to take over for Bidulka. Yersh was previously BlackBerry’s Senior Vice President, Controller and head of Compliance.

“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,” Chen said in the statement.

The company said that it would provide more details on its plans in its upcoming earnings report on Dec. 20. Shares of BlackBerry rose on the news, to around $6.35 per share from a previous close of $6.24.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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