Toronto: BlackBerry stopped its sales and announced that its chief executive will be replaced.
Fairfax Financial, BlackBerry’s largest shareholder with a 10 per cent stake, said it won’t buy the struggling smart phone company and take it private but said that Fairfax and other investors will inject $1 billion as part of a revised investment proposal.
BlackBerry said CEO Thorsten Heins is stepping down. Heins took over in early 2012 after the company lost billions in market value, but he failed to turn the company around with BlackBerry’s new devices this year.
According to sources the new CEO should be of strong software and services background. It is also observed that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), the popular messaging application, has been downloaded by over 20 million users since it became available on Google’s Android and Apple’s IOS platforms.
BGC analyst Colin Gillis said the failure to complete a successful sale was not an unexpected outcome for the market because the stock was trading well below the possible $9 bid price.
The BlackBerry, pioneered in 1999, had been the dominant Smartphone for on-the-go business people and other consumers before Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 and showed that phones can handle much more than email and phone calls.
In the years since, BlackBerry Ltd. been hammered by competition from the iPhone as well as Android-based rivals.
Although BlackBerry was once Canada’s most valuable company with a market value of $83 billion in June 2008, the stock has tumbled to less than $8 from over $140 a share. That gives it a market value of about $3.5 billion.