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New BlackBerry chief John Chen rakes in about $88 million for taking helm

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New BlackBerry chief John Chen rakes in about $88 million for taking helm    
Postmedia News
November 7, 2013
 
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  BlackBerry interim chief John Chen will be granted 13 million restricted shares that vest over five years – 25% each on his third and fourth anniversary, with the remainder accessible after five years. Photograph by: Jin Lee/Bloomberg
, Financial Post tiffany BlackBerry Ltd.’s new interim chief executive and executive chair is worth a lot to the struggling smartphone manufacturer – enough to warrant up to US$3-million in yearly salary, and a signing bonus based on Thursday’s share price worth US$85-million in stock. tiffany jewelry John Chen officially joined the company on Nov. 4 as part of a larger deal with Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd that would make BlackBerry the recipient of a US$1-billion cash injection, abandoning a previous bid that would have taken the company private for US$4.7-billion, or US$9 per share. tiffany & co Instead, Fairfax is working with other investors to purchase convertible debentures, and in the process, announced former CEO Thorsten Heins would be stepping down. tiffany silver jewelry BlackBerry’s shares were down 2.33%, or US$0.15, to US$6.51 at the close in New York. tiffany and co The latest details on the Waterloo, Ont.-based company’s transition were found in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made public on Thursday, where it was also revealed that Fairfax has found partners for its funding deal. tiffany rings Mackenzie Financial Corp., Canso Investment Counsel Ltd., Markel Corp., Brookfield Asset Management Inc., and Qatar Holding LLC. are the other purchasers so far onboard. Chen, who most recently served as a senior advisor at technology-focused private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, is widely regarded for taking struggling enterprise technology company Sybase Inc., turning its fortunes around, and then selling it to SAP AG for nearly US$6 billion in 2010. As BlackBerry’s executive chair, Chen will have control over the strategic direction, strategic relationships, and organization goals of BlackBerry. He will also have authority over hiring, retention, duties, and responsibilities of all officers, executives and other employees. The role comes with a base salary of US$1-million, and a US$2-million performance bonus. If Chen were to be terminated, he would be entitled to US$6-million in severance with benefits for an additional 18 months. As part of the new deal announced on Monday morning, BlackBerry also said that its chief executive Thorsten Heins would be stepping down from the embattled Waterloo, Ont.-based company after just 22 months at the helm. Under Heins’ own severance package, it is believed he may be set to receive US$22 million in salary, incentive payments and equity awards. But more importantly, Chen will also be granted 13 million restricted shares that vest over five years – 25% each on his third and fourth anniversary, with the remainder accessible after five years – a sign that BlackBerry’s board is serious about tying Chen’s performance at the company, and the company itself, to the value of his reward. Those shares are worth a total of US$85 million based on Thursday’s closing stock price. Fairfax’s new investment and the executive shakeup bring to a close nearly three months of speculation and rumours surrounding the future of the once dominant smartphone maker following Mr. Heins’ announcement in August that the company would be examining its “strategic alternatives,” effectively putting the company up for sale. BlackBerry abandoned plans on Monday to sell itself, sparking a 16 per cent drop in its share price. The struggling company said it would raise US$1-billion by issuing convertible notes to a small group of long-term investors, including Fairfax, which is run by investment guru Prem Watsa. The investment amounts from Watsa’s partners vary. Canso Investment Counsel, for example, is actually purchasing more debentures than Fairfax, for a total of US$300 million. Brookfield Asset Management, on the other hand, is purchasing just US$50 million. © Copyright (c) Postmedia News       E-mail this Article Print this Article Share this Article      
  More on This Story   Twitter takes Wall Street by storm with dazzling debut Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch tested with firm's Note 3 Rogers launches its ‘suretap’ virtual wallet Twitter’s bullish IPO on Wall Street ignores social network’s doldrums in Asia Microsoft opens shiny new store at Metrotown (with video)   Story Tools   E-mail this Article Print this Article   Font: * * * * *   Image: * * * *
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    BlackBerry interim chief John Chen will be granted 13 million restricted shares that vest over five years – 25% each on his third and fourth anniversary, with the remainder accessible after five years. Photograph by: Jin Lee/Bloomberg, Financial Post       E-mail this Gallery Print this Gallery Share this Gallery      
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