Disaster just struck a company that was already on life
Rapidly becoming a dinosaur in the iPhone age,
just absorbed another major blow as CEO Thorsten Heins elected to
step down and the company abandoned its plan to go private. The
double dose of bad news is already pushing BlackBerry shares down
11.5% in early Monday trading.
Two months ago, it appeared that BlackBerry had a deal.
Fairfax Financial Holdings (
a Canadian insurance firm, had agreed in principle to buy
BlackBerry for $4.7 billion. As it turns out, Fairfax didn't have
enough capital to finance the deal.
With the Fairfax deal having fallen through, it appears the
company's CEO is abandoning ship. Heins took over as CEO in
January 2012, vowing to turn around BlackBerry's struggling
brand. Twenty-two months later, Heins is calling it quits.
BlackBerry has been for sale since August after years of
decline. The company used to account for half the U.S. smartphone
market. Today its market share has dwindled to a measly 2%.
Heins attempted to rebrand by releasing a fancy new
all-touch smartphone to replace its outdated original BlackBerry
device back in January. The company also changed its name from
Research In Motion
to BlackBerry Limited.
The rebranding failed to gain traction with consumers or
Like the company's smartphone market share, BBRY shares have
been in furious decline. Since peaking at $83.62 in September
2009, BlackBerry shares have been in an all-out tailspin, falling
91% to just over $7 a share entering the day. At this rate, the
stock will be worth nothing within a year or two.
Without the Fairfax deal, BlackBerry is now forced to go back
to the drawing board in search of a new potential buyer. And the
company must do so without a full-time CEO.