John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

C-Suite Shakeup at BlackBerry

pushed_into_poolMore big changes afoot at BlackBerry. On Monday, the dilapidated smartphone pioneer overhauled its executive ranks once again, announcing the ouster of COO Kristian Tear, CMO Frank Boulben, and CFO Brian Bidulka.

Board member Roger ‘Our New CEO Isn’t a Moron Like the Rest of You‘ Martin has also resigned.

Tear and Boulben will depart the company immediately and won’t be replaced; Bidulka is hanging around for the remainder of the fiscal year to assist with the transition. He is to be replaced by SVP James Yersh, who previously served as BlackBerry’s controller and head of compliance.

Quite the executive purge. Orchestrated by interim CEO and executive chairman John Chen, it says a lot about the company’s view of the leadership put in place by recently ousted CEO Thorsten Heins. Tear and Boulben were both Heins appointments, brought in from the outside as BlackBerry geared up for the launch of its next-generation mobile platform, BlackBerry 10. They’d been in their respective roles for just a year. Sacking them so soon after Chen’s hire suggests that the former Sybase executive is moving quickly to do what he can to right BlackBerry and shore up its crumbling business.

“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,” Chen said in a canned statement offering window into BlackBerry’s new strategy. “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 …”

News of the C-suite shake-up follows the collapse of BlackBerry’s ill-starred efforts to sell itself. Earlier this month, the company scrapped plans to sell itself to its largest investor, Fairfax Financial, after the holding company was unable to come up with the financing needed to complete its conditional takeover bid.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik