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BlackBerry ousts CEO, drops plan to sell itself

Nov. 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM   |   Comments

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TORONTO, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Canadian smartphone pioneer BlackBerry said Monday it was dropping plans to sell itself and it would seek a new chief executive officer.

The company said it would sell $1 billion of convertible debt to its largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings, the company that had put a tentative $4.7 billion bid down on buying BlackBerry, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

It also said it would replace CEO Thorsten Heins with former Sybase Inc. CEO John Chen on an interim basis. Chen, would also take the job of executive chairman of the company's board, the company said.

Sources with knowledge of the matter said a proposal from BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin never developed into a formal bid because the group that reportedly included Cerberus Capital management wanted more due diligence before submitting a bid.

Fairfax already owns about 10 percent of the company while Lazaridis and Fregin together own about 8 percent.

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