Chen Ends BlackBerry Dream Team, Waves Off Bidulka, Boulben, Tear
Former CEO Heins called BlackBerry's five-man leadership team the best in the industry. Under new CEO Chen, only the chief legal officer remains.BlackBerry interim CEO John Chen is clearing house, as he goes about the business of turning around the ailing mobility company. Chen announced the departure of several key executives Nov. 25—including Chief Operating Officer Kristian Tear and Chief Marking Officer Frank Boulben—with perhaps a suggestion that they were middlemen, slowing down progress. "I thank Kristian and Frank for their efforts on behalf of BlackBerry," Chen said in a statement. "I look forward to working more directly with the talented teams of engineers, and the sales and marketing teams around the world to facilitate the BlackBerry turn-around and to drive innovation." Chen also said goodbye to Chief Financial Officer Brian Bidulka, adding that James Yersh, formerly a senior vice president, controller and head of compliance, will be the new CFO, with Bidulka staying on through the remainder of the financial year to assist with the transition.
Farewell to the BlackBerry Dream TeamHeins was incredibly proud of BlackBerry's executive lineup, and showed them off at the 2013 BlackBerry Live event in Orlando, Fla., May 14. Heins told the audience during his keynote:
"In one short year, we have brought this company to a profitable quarter. The most successful launch year for BlackBerry is well underway. ... Twelve months ago I stood up here all alone and promised to assemble the strongest leadership team in the mobile business. And I think I can claim and say, 'I kept my promise.' We now have a leadership team that's second to none. ... Frank Boulben, our chief marketing officer, Kristian Tear, our chief operating officer, Steve Zipperstein, our chief legal officer, and the mind watching the money, our Chief Financial Officer Brian Bidulka.
"And remember last year there was a lot of debate about the [global nature] of the team? You have a German CEO, you have a Swedish COO, you have a French CMO, you have a U.S. CLO and you have a Canadian CFO. ... If isn't a true global leadership team, I don't know what is! ... Together as a team, we're all working together to win back BlackBerry's reputation for innovation and execution."