BlackBerry is making changes to its top-level management, announcing on Monday that its COO and CMO are leaving, and its CFO has been replaced.
BlackBerry COO Kristian Tear and CMO Frank Boulben are both leaving the company, while James Yersh will replace current CFO Brian Bidulka. Yersh has worked at BlackBerry since 2008, formerly as the SVP, Controller, and as the company's head of compliance. Bidulka is staying on as a special advisor to the CEO for the remainder of the fiscal year to help with the transition.
These are the first big changes interim CEO John Chen has made since replacing Thorsten Heins earlier this month, but they are likely the first of many as the Canadian company looks to turn itself around. (See Time to Flip BlackBerry's Handset Kill Switch.)
In announcing the changes, Chen said in a statement that BlackBerry has a strong cash position and "continues, by a significant margin, to be the top provider of trusted and secure mobile device management solutions to enterprise customers around the world."
"Building on this core strength, and in conjunction with these management changes, I will continue to align my senior management team and organizational structure, and refine the company's strategy to ensure we deliver the best devices, mobile security and device management through BES 10, provide multi-platform messaging solutions with BBM, and expand adoption of QNX embedded systems," he continued.
Why this matters
After failing to ink a deal to go private with Fairfax, BlackBerry brought in Chen and $1 billion in additional funding to attempt to turn things around at the company, which has struggled to keep up with the competition. Chen hasn't specifically outlined how he plans to restore BlackBerry's mobile business, nor who will fill the now vacant COO and CMO spots, but more may be revealed on the company's third-quarter earnings call on December 20.
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— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading