BlackBerry CEO to leave as Fairfax deal dies

BlackBerryToday was to have been the day that Fairfax Financial Holdings turned BlackBerry into a private company if a better offer did not come. Not only did the offer not come but the Fairfax deal has also died as the company could not raise the necessary funds. Not only that but BlackBerry has now decided not to sell itself, putting an end to speculation that it would be bought out by any number of interested parties.

The Globe and Mail is reporting this morning that BlackBerry will instead raise new funds to continue operating as an independent company. The report adds that the company is making changes at the leadership level and that BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has been let go along with a number of directors.

The new plan entails raising about US$1 billion by selling convertible notes (they can convert into shares later) to a group of investors. Who these investors are remains unclear but one party that could be interested might be a consortium made up of RIM co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, Cerberus Capital Management LP and Qualcomm Inc.

Thorsten Heins became CEO on January 22, 2012 when Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie resigned as co-CEOs and co-chairmen. He oversaw the launch of BlackBerry 10. Sales failed to catch on as the company expected  and the company is now looking at ways to remain relevant in a very competitive smartphone market.

Did anyone see this one coming?

Source : The Globe and Mail