The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Technology

August 21, 2013

BlackBerry CEO may make $55.6 Million in a sale

(Continued)

By Hugo Miller — Heins was initially criticized for saying BlackBerry didn't need "drastic" changes, though he went on to make big moves at the company. He named new sales, marketing and legal chiefs, and eliminated 5,000 jobs as part of an effort to cut $1 billion in operating costs. He also closed six of the company's 10 manufacturing plants.

Even as he scaled back the size of the company, Heins was counting on the release of new BlackBerry 10 phones to restore its former glory. The first of the new models, the touch-screen- equipped Z10, was unveiled in January at a lavish New York event. It didn't fare well with consumers, selling almost 1 million fewer units last quarter than estimated.

Heins first hired JPMorgan and RBC to advise the company on its strategic options last year, though he stressed at the time that the banks were focusing on potential partnerships and software licensing deals. When pressed, he said he couldn't rule out a sale of the company, though that wasn't the "main direction" he was pursuing. The tone changed this month: BlackBerry's Aug. 12 statement was the first time the company confirmed in writing that it would consider takeover offers.

BlackBerry created Heins's compensation package after consulting an index of technology companies, including Amazon.com Inc., Nokia Oyj and Yahoo, according to the filing in May.

"It was determined that while Mr. Heins's total direct compensation was conservative compared to the median of the comparator group, it provided a strong pay-for-performance orientation," the company said.

 

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