TECH
04/11/2013 08:46 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins Out As $4.7 Billion Sale Collapses

Thorsten Heins, president and CEO at BlackBerry speaks at a conference, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
AP
Thorsten Heins, president and CEO at BlackBerry speaks at a conference, Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has stood down amid ongoing turmoil at the former smartphone giant.

The company said that John S. Chen would be appointed interim CEO in the wake of Heins' departure. He will also be appointed Executive Chair of BlackBerry's board.

Chen's experience in the mobile enterprise space - he turned around a struggling Sybase as CEO - might hint at a potential future focus for the company, which was once seen as a consumer and business leader.

The company also announced that it had received $1 billion in extra funding from Fairfax Financial and other investors after the collapse of a previously announced $4.7 billion takeover deal.

BlackBerry has struggled to reposition itself in a market dominated by Google's free Android operating system, Apple's premium iPhone ecosystem and Microsoft's resurgent Windows Phone platform.

Its already-weak share price fell more than 18.5% in pre-market trading as a result of the announcement.

"Today's announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of preeminent, long-term investors," said Barbara Stymiest, Chair of BlackBerry's Board.

"The BlackBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders…. Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company."