What to make of BlackBerry CEO’s compensation in the event of a change of control

By Chris Umiastowski on 16 Aug 2013 12:47 pm EDT

Today I enjoyed reading an article from my friend Hugo Miller over at Bloomberg. He nicely summarizes the fact that Thorsten Heins stands to make $55.6 million in the event that BlackBerry is sold, and he is ousted as CEO. The details are all spelled out in a proxy filing from May.

I’ve read through the Bloomberg story and the proxy filing.  The situation is fairly complex, and I haven’t bothered to do all the math for the various possible scenarios.  But it is accurate to say that Thorsten Heins stands to be paid significantly more money if he is terminated in the event of a sale of BlackBerry compared to a termination that does not involve a sale of the company.  The legal speak for a sale of the company you’ll find in proxy filings is “change of control”.

What do you think is easier to do:  Sell the company or successfully turn things around?  At this point, and in May when this filing was made, I’d say it might be easier to get yourself ousted by selling the company. 

So why would the board actually structure an agreement that incentivizes the CEO to sell the company like this?  I don’t know.  I won’t pretend to know all of the nuances involved in structuring executive compensation.  But at first blush, this seems to justify some scrutiny.

The executive compensation agreement that Bloomberg points to is a few months old now.  The reason it’s relevant now is because BlackBerry has announced its intention to explore a sale of the company. 

Reader comments

What to make of BlackBerry CEO’s compensation in the event of a change of control



I am starting to change my mind....maybe they are seriously looking to sell.

BlackBerry for leaders, not followers.

It wasnt built as an incentive to sell. It was a safety net so if he was fired in a buyout, he would be compensated. If new management keeps him, he doesn't get it. Keep in mind, he woul make more as continuing to be the CEO, overtime.
If you hear hooves, and everyone yells horses without looking, it could be zebras.

That was my instinctive understanding. He stepped into a volatile situation. At the time this was made it was probably just as a safety net so he would be willing to take the job.

That's exactly the case. To tempt someone to takeover the job you need to entice him with cash and options

I would agree. I wouldn't pretend to know a whole lot about corp exec comp, but when BB brought him on they were in a pretty precarious position. This could have just been the sweetener / assurance for him to closing the deal to get him on-board. I would assume that it would have been tough to get someone to take such a big personal and reputational risk to turn the perceived 'sinking ship' around. At that level, your reputation and accomplishments/failures determine your value in the market. I can't imagine that the potential of being hired on to save the day and then failing at it, is not something a ton of capable quality individuals at the C level would be willing take on.

He's on $9 million a year. And if he's laid off as a result of a buy out he'll never get another job as CEO - more or less what you're saying.

So $55 million is a lot, but he'd make more over 7 years in the job - not including any bonuses for the obvious turnaround there would have to be for him to work that long.

A sale could be viewed as a win from businesses that believe Thornsten was given a losing hand from the start..

Perhaps in this situation cash is better. With $55 million a year he could focus on a start-up and/or angel investments. Does this CEO have any loyalties to BlackBerry?

Imagine you're the CEO of a company and the board comes to you and says they may want to sell the company.

You're going to turn around and negotiate a deal that makes it really difficult for the buyer to get rid of you.

Whoever buys BlackBerry either sticks with Thorsten Heins or pays out a fortune.

It's what any of us would have done if we'd thought of it.

The good news is he doesn't want to leave. And he's made it really difficult for any new buyer to get rid of him.

One potential buyer [who appears to have no clue] has already said he wants to get rid of Heins. Mind you the same idiot wants them to put Android on a BlackBerry. How stupid can you get. Obviously the guy has no idea of the BlackBerry value proposition (security etc).

Exactly. People also fail to realize that the employability of these C level employees after a change of control is likely a lot less due to perceived failures. Taking on a position at this level carries a lot of risk and it may be career ending so this package most probably is accounted for this other factors during contract negotiations when a C level candidate is offered a position. It may not be fair to the average joe but this is the capitalist world we choose to live in and if one chooses to invest in it, it is what it is.

I tend to agree that these were terms not meant to decide the future decisions of the Company. It is natural for person(s) at Senior Management levels to protect themselves as they not only bring in their expertise, they have also forgone something more stable when joining a company in doldrums or in near trouble. Bailing out takes a lot of effort and is easier to be given the bad name than be congratulated when a turn around takes place. Compensation takes into consideration several factors but then when a particular aspect gets magnified due to turn of events those get defined as contrived!

Posted using my Q10

Fortunate? This isn't the lottery. He earned that spot. If he makes more money staying then why would he seek to be fired? Also it wouldn't look good on his resume for his next venture.

Posted via CB10

He earned that spot based on what..poor performance or a total lack of understanding of the business? here is the guy that said "there is nothing wrong with the company"

Earned it ? You mean he got a golden handshake from the two former bozos who were running BB into the ground.

Typical corporate thuggery and greed. No respect for anyone except one's self. The whole board and senior amangement at BB should be dismissed and thown in the sewer.

Truly sickening.


I dont wanna downgrade Heins as that benefits no one, but seriously the average business man is lucky if they make a few million over their lifetime. Heins makes 10 million annually and is getting a 55 million package if BB is sold. Thats an insane amount of money and no one man needs all that.

I also smell a deliberate plan by Heins to drive BB into the ground to get his 55 million payday, No company is inept enough to have all the missed release dates, lies, botched US carrier contracts etc. I think Heins did this all to get BB sold so he can get a 55 million payday. Disgusting corporate espionge.

It really is a shame that the 2 previous co-CEO's didn't have an early response to the iPhone because Jim was the man in his day, but he lost his sight and never really got it back. And what he did do right in his last few years was too late to redeem himself in most followers eyes.

The next venture??? They guy is 55 years old, stands to get 55 million. If that doesn't spell luxury retirement then I don't know what does.

w/ 55mill in your pocket, who needs another venture,,, i think you'd be able to scrape by 'til they put you in the box w/ that...

Or, said another way, "NICE package Mr. Heins " in an admiring somewhat jealous tone.

From my sweet BB10 Neutrino powered Z10 :D

I care if the agreement mean he's not committed to turn things around but just sell the company.

No one knows exactly what he intends. And those that don't know what the average compensation of a C-Suite employee in Corporate America don't know much about business. C-Suite employees obviously earn their job. Don't be mad. His compensation isn't outrageous at all. Google what other CEOs in North America earn because you all sound uninformed.

Maybe they did this as an incentive for Thor to push and sell the company? It's the only way they could convince him probably... the next few months are gonna be reeeeeaalllly interesting

via CB10 on the amazing Z10

Wouldn't be the first time a company brought someone in to clean house, try to guide the company in a positive direction to improve its attractiveness for acquisition or sale. That type parachute contract is standard for such tasks.

I agree. It's why he torpedoed the PlayBook. They are going to start to shutter any remaining factories that they own soon, I'll bet. That's just too much overhead and private equity groups would potentially drag their feet at a purchase with that much overhead.

Yes they do 2 infact one in waterloo ontario
and one in venesula due to thr government rules
They pay temporary workers and some full timers for show ala the queens visit

He wasn't brought in. He's was already there. He's wasn't parachuted in. He was already on the ground with the rest of them losing the war.

It does not really matter whether or not he was already in BBRY. He was asked to take on a new role and whenever that happens, there are negotiations with the board of director to establish the term of him taking this job.

It's up to the board of directors to either accept or reject his terms to become CEO. The board accepted these terms, so I am not sure why everyone is blaming Mr Heins. They should blame the board of directors if they don't agree with this deal.

Posted via CB10 from my spectacular Z10

Shareholders only have the power to modify the BoD, and even though there is a review of the compensation as part of the annual filing, the shareholders only get a "non-binding" vote on the issue, which basically means you can vote "nay" to show your displeasure with the Exec compensation, but the BoD will pay the CxO whatever they negotiate. Ergo, if you want to *truly* change the Exec compensation, you need to start with replacing the BoD. Last two years though, the entire BoD was re-elected with > 80% of the vote; probably the closest person to being punted was the Chairwoman, everyone else was in the 85-95% approve range.

Well what is there to understand ! Very basic is he going to make more than Usd 55 million if he stays or quits. Someone seriously screwed up Usd 55 million is a hell of money. He doesn't even brush his teeth!

Posted via CB10

The entire BB management team should be given ONLY stock options and a small wage until the are successful in getting MUST HAVE APPS. Or even if they are able to get Netflix and Instagram that would be atleast fine for the short term. This team sucks. Just big talks and NO WORK

Considering that everyone and their uncle, cousin, and brother's roommate all have different definitions of what is a 'MUST HAVE APP' they will be living like paupers for quite awhile.

Management 101: if you pay in peanuts, you're only going to attract monkeys. TH has been doing the best he can with what he's got. And he's done a great job so far. Really not his fault that he can't strongarm companies into developing for his platform, most have a vested interest in pushing BlackBerry out of the market anyways. Google MSFT's latest technet blog of their VP's open letter blog post ripping at Google for not allowing MSFT to develop a native YouTube app. This is simply the marketplace these days.

Posted from my Q10!

I believe the main reason Microsoft did not get approval for their YouTube client was because they blocked a bunch of Google services and advertisements that normally appear in YouTube, which is an old Microsoft "Embrace and Extend" tactic.

Google's free online services are only free because they exist to funnel advertising to people. If you just want to leech their content while blocking advertising and related Google content it's not a big surprise Google will not look kindly on that. The MS app violated their terms of service.

I would agree on changing BB management motivation or even whole management replacement. But who has chosen current management? Who approved such motivation for management?

It was BOARD.

Who are the board members factually? What and WHOSE interests they are representing? I bet the truthful answers would be really interesting.

BLACKBERRY LIVES FOREVER!!!! This is what i would love to see on the next time I go on this Crackberry website. But who knows what we will see in the next hours,days,weeks or months.

as much as i love blackberry and never wish for it to be put in a coffin, I am just not sure where the company will be headed. I wish for miracles but I think BB is in far more need of a miracle. I FOREVER WILL LOVE MY BB. Next problem is in a few years i will be forced to another OS that i do not 100% enjoy this SUCKS!!

Or like many said....... It's a phone it will still work. If all you want is to make calls , text and email , then there is not reason why you can't keep using your Z10 or whatever. If on the other hand you want to use your Smartphone as a Smartphone and do everything it allows you do with Apps then , well that is not going to happen.

@nath here is a shocker for you actually proven many times when bbry had an outage internet and bbry email and bbm doesnt work when BIS goes down
in short you have to use a 3rd party app if you want email without being tethered

bbry phones including z10 run thru proxy server at bbry which compresses your sends so they are smaller along with security

Get rid of Thor! He is not there to fight for turning things around, he is just there to have some fun and in the end walk out of the door smiling with bags full of money while we, BlackBerry users left in the cold. Same goes to Alicia Keys, Frank Boulben. Damn it!

Posted via CB10

Heins has proven himself to be totally incompetent and only focused on personal gain.

Get rid of him now.

Heins is the chief monkey and hired a bunch of baboons he made rich on the backs of shareholders and believers when he knew all along he was supporting the shorts. What a joke...he had everyone fooled.

The strategy was never going to succeed. So it is clear that they never intended to push BlackBerry 10 but we're looking to sell

Posted via CB10

Very true, but also doesn't mean they will. That's an incredibly significant amount of money for such a short amount of time on the job and to be paid out whether the results are good or bad.

Where there is smoke there is fire. Also, been in this boat before. Really looking like it is going to be a sale.

Posted via CB10

This is it. I knew that this was what was going on and I warned everybody. Anyways now the cat is finally out of the bag. Thor really screwed the legions of bbry fans. Basically what the filing says is that he has more incentive to sell the come and walk away than to fix things hence the change in tune with PlayBook and talks in the background with lenovo, Microsoft and now apparently Samsung. I won't be surprised to know that they are talking with Apple also in the background. So all of u here need to come to terms with the fact that bbry won't be around for a long time. Thor is counting in it with dreams of 55 million class maybe we need to look at alternatives too.

Posted via CB10 from BB Z10

I doubt it. Thor stands to make more if he turns the company around. $55M is a lot but not more than what his options+cash could have been if he was successful. Nevermind the fact that i'm pretty sure his reputation is worth the same anyways. I'm 100% certain he's had nothing but the best intentions and incentives to turn BlackBerry around but we are all forgetting the mess the two co-founders drove this company into before he got there.

Posted from my Q10!

It would take him over 6 years to earn 55 million @ 9 million a year. He'd be 61 when he was done.

This way he gets his money and goes home to his mansion today.

Posted via CB10

You forget about bonuses and stock options. If Blackberry started making a lot of money again, you better believe TH's bonuses would be substantial.

The $55M is mostly based on the value of the stock price, since it is equity awards based. The Bloomberg article outlines the breakdown, but essentially let's say that his RSUs are 4MM, then if the company sells for $10/sh he gets $40MM from RSUs plus two years salary and benefits, total about $44-45M. They have to pay the 24 months salary because
Thor (and many others) have signed non-compete agreements that basically mean they cannot work for anyone in the same industry as BlackBerry for two years.

Now, if instead he keeps trucking, and BB returns to say $50/sh in 2016 (his equity awards vest at the end of 3 years) then he's looking at a $200MM payday, plus the ~$10MM of salsry and benefits that he's accrued over the years. So I wouldn't say this Golden Parachute is necessarily indicative of what drives his day-to-day decisions about the company, but I will say that it is bad news for shareholders (in the event of a sale).

"I knew that this was what was going on and I warned everybody"
What did you know was going on? And when did you warn everybody?

I believe that t he BOD and the shareholders make the final call in the sale of the company. He can't just start selling it off willy nilly

I smell something foul in all this. I do this for a living and realize thongs went bad here in the US. Felt blatant and purposeful.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry shouldn't be sold! They should cooperate with hardware firms to push out more different smartphones on the market!

Uh ? Who is going to pay for that ? I think that is wishful thinking. Have you been keeping up with current events ?

If it were that simple right ? I'm sure he means well but pushing more phones out to market just leaves you with more dept and expenses and less pocket money when none of those phones sell.

Bringing this up is the best all the negative talking media heads could come up with? What is laughable is they didn't balance the article with the fact that with stock options, Thor stands to make far more money if he can successfully turn the company around.......it has recently become more noticeable just how even the most ardent Blackberry supporters are being worn down by the relentless negative press.

Relax people, this is probably a very common type contract for a CEO. If we fire you, obviously we don't want you so here is a lower settlement or if we get bought out and the new company wants you out then there is more compensation from us
.....relax people

Posted from my amazing Z10

I agree but if you look at the outstanding shares,565 million ,this amounts to 10 cents a share,maybe way to much to pay a guy ,who,every time he opens his mouth,the stock dives.

Or you can be realistic and say it's $10 off every BB10 device sold. That's one hell of a Thor Tax on the blackberry business.

Speculation only, but since Prem was on the board whenever that incentive was added, could it be possible that Prem wanted Blackberry to tank a little before he took over ownership so that he could buy at a better price. Thorsten may have agreed to tank the company on the grounds that he would get a nice bonus if Prem didn't decide not to keep him on board?
Afterall, Thorsten's vision for the long game (Cell Phone's as personal computers) seems along the right path (an Engadget article today practically confirmed it), yet his vision for the short game seems full of genius and idiocy at the same time. Maybe the idiocies are intentional?

Just a thought.

Agreed, and I really hope it is not the case. Not to mention it would be hard to convince the other board members.

The likely answer is that this was negotiated into his contract when he was offered the job since the risk was so high. That has been said and it never hurts to consider alternative reasons.

The feeding frenzy has commenced. Shark week ala BlackBerry rumor and speculation.

Sometimes I think Crackberry.com is as bad in the negative/crap churning as BGR and the other rags.

Let's see what happens and stop adding fuel for the rest of the anti-BB sentiment to get charged on.

Posted via CB10

Exactly, we need some positive articles, I don't need to hear this stuff again. I want to see some kind of positivity...

RSA released their client, so BB10 is now ready for the Enterprise as a replacement for BBOS.

Still I think partnership with IBM would do both good.

Posted via CB10

Especially when no one commenting here really knows anything about what is happening or what any of it means. The best thing to do is just say "I don't know" and wait to see what happens. I know very difficult for men to do but a lot more honest than all of the speculation I have been reading in the past several days. I have seen nothing here to convince me otherwise.

Posted via CB10

Good luck to him, so far he has done a good job to bring me a zed 10 with a awesome OS... shame abt his advertising and marketing plans and objectives...

Sent by Bbry Zed10

Let's not forget how hard thorsten has tried to turn around the company. The hours and hours of interviews saying nothing but positive things about BlackBerry. Just remember that. He deserves some type of recognition for his effort

Posted via CB10

Give him 100 million and he will happily do many hours more of interviews. It is all about money!

Posted via CB10

It is always about money, and nothing else. Just ask former Nortel employees. How John Roth got away with what he did, well it's about money and nothing else. Michael Cowpland former head of Mitel and Corel was caught in a stock scheme by the TSX which made him over 20 million. He was found guilty and fined 1 million. What a punishment. ;-)

Yeah, that's it, take the "easy road", like friggin' wimps do. Yeah, through everything away for short term thinking and ridiculous motives. What a joke.

Posted via CB10

I'm going to look at this the way I look at life insurance. Just because I'm worth more dead than alive doesn't mean I'm going to go and off myself.

We don't know what's going to happen in the next few months, and it's easy for everyone to assume that Thor is just a d-bag. I don't imagine it's easy to run a company like BlackBerry, despite the fact that many seem to think it is.


Posted from my brain to your screen via CBQ10

Continuous streams of stupidity. I'm not even going to provide this with my energy any longer, after this.

"****in' wimps!" - Ajax of The Warriors

Posted via CB10

Wait, one more thing! Stop with the "what's the easiest way?" BS. That's wimp talk. That's what the weak and mindless do, take all the easy routes. Complete morons. Cya.

Posted via CB10

Isn't this typical clauses that CEO in these positions have in their contracts? I know it sounds like big money but I wonder what Tim Cook has in his contract if he's ousted from Apple?

i was wondering the same, not to mentioned what benefits he gets when co. survives and gets back in the game.

Relax people these are typical CEO contracts and he stands to make way more money if Blackberry does indeed succeed, he'll get his millions of shares of compensation at xx so he does well if he turns the company around.

Or in other words, nothing different than any other multi-billion CEO compensation package.

Because most companies work that way it's alright? No way...there is really no reason left to support blackberry because they fouled people. I don't like the arrogant explanation of 'that's the way it is'. That's the way they do it. And it is wrong.

$55 million it's obscene.

I fear blackberry as a company its days are numbered.

If it's sold it will be the end of blackberry for sure.

It's like the bankers in the uk brought down the entire banking system to its knees and then got huge bonuses for doing it....scandalous.

If u were TH and u stood to make $55 million would u care if blackberry was sold and broke up......no you would be sat on a nice beach with a cocktail and a blonde.

Posted via CB10

Not a golden parachute or incentive to sell - crackberry writers shouldn't contribute to the mania. TH is a contract employee, meaning he negotiated all aspects of his employment before he was hired. The sell clause was likely to protect him from the co either under or overperforming, not incentive to sell. dont forget that he alone cannot sell the co, it must be approved by majority. This type of rhetoric is sickening, and would think crackberry would be above it. To bad its alines with every other media source out there. Do some due diligence instead of CYA by stating "I haven't taken the time to actually read what I'm writing about". Have some integrity especially if you are quick to demand it in others!

Posted Via CB10 from my BB Q10

What we know of his negotiated contract appears to be more protection from being dumped or caught in the middle than it is to sell. What many here seem to be forgetting is that it really isn't always about the money. There is a legacy factor that also must be considered. Which way do you think Thor wants to be remembered: as the fella who was at the helm when BlackBerry sold, or the CEO who lead BlackBerry to resurrect its fortunes through strategic partnerships. If you think the Steve Jobs story is interesting, Thor's could be even more so.

The CEO of Motorola Mobility got 60M for selling the company. That was the plan when he was hired. 30M if he couldn't do a sale. Now Google owns them.

Posted via CB10

It has long been my opinion that Thor was brought in to prepare the company to be sold. If he stands to be compensated more when the company is sold, it only comfirms my thought.

I suspect Thorsten was planning a 5 year tenure and strategy with BlackBerry and perhaps the $55 million is reflective on his salary over the same time frame...plus a little extra for the effort. But to believe that he jumped in with the intentions of selling from the word go is preposterous :)

I wonder what kind of golden parachutes other companies have. Does Thor's compensation in fact "leapfrog the competition" or is it just standard operating procédure to have these clauses built in to executive compensation packages at companies that have been struggling to get back on their feet?

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10!

And I just bought a new holster for my Z10, starting to feel like it was a waste of money. Not to get off subject but now I am thinking back to how I switched carriers to get the Z10 and now it's starting to look like Sprint has been holding out for a good reason.

Posted With My Z10 or PB

It seems like a catch 22 for Thor.. He can do the most difficult honorable thing and save the company or just sell it and make all the money he ever wanted!.. I'm very curious as to what is going to happen with BlackBerry because it could change everything.. whether or not die hards stay, or BlackBerry could end up with a whole different audience of users... Do the right thing Thor!!!

Wish I had a job where I got paid loads to be shit, as it stands I'm paid shit to work loads.... I should be idolised, not this knobend

Posted via CB10

Luck has nothing to do with it, luck is having a job where u get paid 50 million for getting binned

Posted via CB10

I've not been one to comment on these posts, preferring to think there is some good plan to it all.

However, there is one thing that I've not been able to reconcile in my mind....and that is cross platform BBM. And, bearing in mind that I deal with dozens of BlackBerry queries per day, and see first hand the mood of the teens and twenties in that they want BBM, they want the Google app store but they don't want BlackBerry it did seem slightly odd to me that a huge asset that was keeping people with BlackBerry was being 'given out'.

So, I've watched as the FB BlackBerry page has gone from mostly UK etc queries to virtually no UK....now mostly Africans many with their museum piece phones and wondered if the UK folks have already gone over to android.

Then I remembered two places that I worked at, high flyers brought in to 'save the company' new innovations etc....and at both the managing directors left as they didn't like what was happening.....and within months both companies were sold to competitors.

Then I remember Rob Orr....met him twice, a lovely guy, the UK MD that left suddenly.

We all make of this what we will.....but I know my thoughts on it.

Posted via CB10

I feel for the regular everyday working Person whom invested in BB only to have there investment go south.
Funny how you never see the CEO's take a hit or a reduced cut when things do go well, funny huh ?

This reminds me of the Banks getting bailed out.

this is standard CEO contract language. everyone needs to relax and take a chill pill. Here in the US the big merger on the table right now is US Airways buying American Airlines. if the deal goes through the CEO of American gets more than 20 mil to not be employed by USAirways. this is the same guy who was brought in to lead the company out of bankruptcy. all he did was cancel the contracts with their unions, and agree to a merger.

Thorston has never said "i want to sell BB". but companies that fall on hard times have to look at every option. Hell when the CEO of IBM was ousted back in the 90's his "golden parachute" was more than 100 mil. the Current CEO of Capital One Bank only makes $1 a year, but gets more than 200 mil a year in stock that he can sell at anytime.

all this doom and gloom talk is rather dumb. lets wait and see what happens before we jump to conclusions.

I agree this is just standard contract stuff... CEO types are negotiating from a position of strength and can negotiate these "if it doesn't work out, I need some securuty..."

It's gross, but ask yourself if you would or wouldn't take it if you could.

Seriously folks, this begs the question for all of us if we had a shot at $55 million: What would you do?

TH is a business man--plain and simple.

I still love my BlackBerry.

Posted via BlackBerry Z10 Channel C00106B82

The difference is that you would never be offered the job.

Someone who has Mr. Heins background, credentials, abilities and reputation is a highly valued executive who is worth a lot of money regardless which company he chooses to work for. You either incentivize the position to attract top talent who are putting their own personal reputation on the line by taking over a failing company, or you end up with a no-name who may just drive the company further into the ground.

$55 Million . Wow. That's a nice sum.
Oh well, I'm sure he is Happy.
I'd love to see what THOR (phone) will be walking around in public ones he is out. ! Now that will be interesting.

If BlackBerry continues to NOT compete, they should obviously sell before the value reaches zero. I find it odd how an operating system this good with all that potential continues to decrease in value. What would a new owner do different? If a new owner simply changed the name, would that turn the ship around? Not likely. Ecosystem and marketing is the key. Why is BlackBerry so afraid to compete with the big dogs. The whole world knows by now that apps are lacking, and BlackBerry has allowed that focus to remain. Can they not compete or dominate on another level? Where is the BoD's patience? The OS has been out for 6 months and they're all panicking. Give the OS time to grow, apps are coming (230 K already if I'm not mistaken), and even buy a few if needed. Form a partnership if needed, but don't sell. Out-wait all the douche-bags on wall street (and media) who can't wait for BlackBerry to fold. Time to show some sack and compete, for Christ's sake!

Sent from the future on my Z10.

This makes a lot of sense, they had this put in to Thor's contract to get him on board. BlackBerry was already behind the pack with an undeveloped new OS and no guarantee of what may happen, or if the company would still be around in 5 years time. This was most likely added to keep him from jumping ship to another company.

If it were you, would you take the top seat of a company that isn't doing so well if there was no guarantee that you will be employed in the relatively near future? This in no way suggests that he is trying to sink the ship, just something to make sure he took the job in the first place. It appears like the people at BlackBerry really wanted Thor, and this was their way of getting him to be top dog.

BlackBerry Z10 | Verizon |

It was a mistake hiring a relic from the old BlackBerry guard to run the company. Heins never had any real plans other than continung a few scrap projects the two former bozo CEO's started and to cash in at the end. BB's future is of no concern to him, obviously.

I'm sick to death of fly by night bogus CEO's wrecking companies for personal gain. They are never held accountable for the real damage they cause to customers.

I'm going to get flak for this but I do not see Selling BB is going to make everything ok.
I agree it can't go on like it has been doing for far to long now , but I honestly can not see any quick solution or answer to turning around BB. At least not in the short term, 1-2 maybe 3 yrs ?
MS is not going to sit there and not grab Market Share and let's be honest BB needs to set it's goal to be #3 or at least ahead of MS/Nokia ( WP8 ) before it even considers try to out sell Google or Apple.
I hope they ( whomever ) takes over are in it for the LONG Haul and not anything else because this is a MARATHON ! and is going to require not only a change in attitude on how they do things , but allot of $$$.

It sounds to me like Thorsten Heins is like every other CEO out there, not dedicated to the company just there for what he can get. If that means drop BlackBerry in a hole and get terminated,- why he'll smile all the way to the bank. Sad to say :( but I think mostly true.

Use $1 million to pay the top app companies, as a one time payment to have them work on the apps they need. Then he doesn't need to be paid to resign, and he can just be paid by making blackberry successful once again. :) honestly. 55.6 million dollars, can be put to use. And honestly that's more than enough to do something huge! Apps wise.

Posted via CB10

I really don't think the Canadian and American governments will allow as sale to any company that has a nefarious security history. Does anyone truly believe that they would allow a sale to Samsung or any other company like that. The best situation is a major partnership with MS, Apple or Google. But MS is the most logical choice with Dell making hardware.

Keep the company in the western hemisphere and things will go well. I see no future for ios with their outdated os. There is nothing revolutionary with their os. Android is terrible. The only other os worth anything other than BlackBerry 10 is Windows 8.

People have to understand that the bells and whistles are nice but SECURITY is the most important part of your Mobile universe. The phone has to be secure. How many BlackBerry hacking stories are you hering in about. Ios and android are constantly in the news for these issues. Look at the forums on Apple website oh my. And yet there are legions of apple fans still buying their crap. Verizon's iPhone is 400 bucks. Get out of town on that.

" Android is terrible. The only other os worth anything other than BlackBerry 10 is Windows 8. "

LOL You know very little my friend. But hey , as long as you keep believing that then that's why you will never ever learn anything more then what you know now. Ive had a phone on every platform over the years and to read your comment on Android is terrible shows how little you know.

Android may not appear terrible to the end user, but technically its flawed.

There is a divergence in code bases that will only get worse and ultimately will make the platform pretty useless.

Google don't really care. They're only in the business of getting your data.

I'm not sure why the LOL. I just got the Nexus 7 and was amazed at how crap it is. My shiny new nexus 7 left me with two feelings:
1. It's a shame that BB10 has fallen flat because it's a hell of a lot more competitive than even I thought it was.
2. I can't wait for a decent 7-8 inch windows 8.1 tablet. I have the surface pro and I really like windows 8.

The only thing I liked about nexus so far is flipboard. I'm keeping it. It may grown on me but right now I am totally unimpressed with Android. Maybe the Samsung version is better??

What Security are you talking about ? Do you really believe your email or text message can not be read because your using your BB ? Maybe you need to re visit because there is not such thing. If that were true then Every evil or Bad person , persons, would just all use a BB.

I'm sure he would love to walk away with this gold mine and not have to deal with the BlackBerry problems any longer. I also think everyone is panicking. As much as we listen to many whine about not having this app or that app, I still see the BlackBerry as a business device - not a toy. The government here has been using BlackBerry Bolds for a long time now. The person in charge of cell phone acquisitions told me that it would be a cold day in hell before they would use IOS or Android devices or BYOP. They lock the phones down pretty well because of security concerns and have had a good association with BlackBerry. The problem is that governments and many large corporations always move slow and take a wait and see approach to new technology . I think that if BlackBerry stays the course, they will see big government and corporate orders in the future . BYOP is problematic and I I can see the corporate world moving away from this option. I think this is where BlackBerry should excel and leave the toy phone market to Apple, Samsung etc. It's a smaller niche, but I think it can be a profitable.

Posted via CB10

$55.6M is nothing compared to what Stanley O'neal ($161.5M), Philip Purcell ($94M), Wallace Malone ($135M) and Richard Grasso ($140M) received....

BB10 delay, abandoning tablet market, no BB10 cross platform deployment, lack of colour choice (Z10, Q10), strange pricing policy, lukewarm marketing, lukewarm carrier support, leaving out certain geographic markets, phablet delay, slider delay, lack of BB10 updates synchronization, cross platform BBM delay, no reaction to stock manipulation, no reaction to tons of (paid) bashing articles released every day..

What else should Blackberry management to do (or not to do) to come to realize that they were NOT hired to make BlackBerry successful? THEY HAVE BEEN HIRED TO PREPARE BLACKBERRY FOR SALE.

Well heins is a greedy bastard now ain't he.

Bye bye BlackBerry and heins makes millions.

Posted via CB10

While I am no a supporter of TH my sense of those in the C suite are that they are fiercely competitive, highly ambitious and have a disdain for failure. I do not think this will incentive his sale of the Co and moreover at the board level there should be ample checks and balances- and the shareholders must agree to it. I suspect he would truly be mist motivated to turn the Co around - then his value as a ceo goes through the roof and he can command 10xs more at a struggling us tech firm.

Posted via CB10

Great deal for Thorsten. Terrible for shareholders. Maybe there was a quid pro quo between Lazaridis and Heins. Lazaridis steps off the board May 1 with the stock at $15+, able to blow out his position knowing disaster is looming, and in return Thorston receives a massive package for continuing to drive the company to zero as he has been so effectively dong since he joined in 2007. Will this go down as the most incompetent board of directors in the history of mankind?

This is crazy. Continuously negative articles and news from BlackBerry. And how would they think that ppl will have balls and confidence to buy z30 when it is launched?

Posted via CB10

Yup. BlackBerry the company seems to have given up. They're hand feeding the media negative information now. No company that actually wanted to be successful with their handset business would do this.

They are literally ensuring no one ever buys another BB phone.

Maybe the board hired him for the specific purpose of readying the company to be sold. That included getting a solid BB10 out the door and setting the stage for other bits of the business to be of value to somebody. That's what this golden parachute points to when I look at it.

There are some people who've described the situation quite well. But again others don't seem to understand. TH took a big career risk by taking this job. If BlackBerry fails, it may not be very easy for him to find a ceo level job ever again. He will be labeled as an incompetent ceo. If you divide 55 million by the number of working years he has left before retirement, it isn't a huge amount. Probably a lot less than the total compensation that other ceos in similar industries receive over their contracts.

Posted via CB10

No other company would have given him the CEO job. This was a gift from Lazaridis to Heins to keep the status quo. He risked nothing...it was all upside. I feel for blackberry shareholders but the truth is that this company has a history of terrible corporate governance and outright fraud (stock options back dating). Bad company, bad leadership, bad corporate governance.

Posted via CB10

You know I am start to cry. Whoa oh whoa...its a shame how badly TH is being treated. Tough job to sell the company down the tubes! 55 million is just not enough!

LOL ya I'm reared up too. I feel no pity for Hiens at all. I feel sorry for the shareholders and guys like you and I who bought Playbooks and Z10s who got royally screwed.

If Heins did destroy BB on purpose there has to be some sort of government investigation as this level of corporate corruption cant be legal. The Canadian government needs to investigate Heins part in this.

Not surprising really when a lot of executive compensation is in shares. Usually these shares vest over a period of time, but in the case of a buy out or termination, they vest immediately.

BB will be sold soon now, Heins must be dreaming about those $55 million every single night :)

Wow, what motivates someone more than success. Money and 55 million is a lot, which anyone would jump ship for.


Posted via CB10

The problem with all these armchair experts who are so shocked by the $55M, is that they are thinking small, like their own lives.

Yes, I'm sure $55M is a huge amount of money, TO YOU. No surprise there - they would never hire you as CEO, either.

It is NOT necessarily a huge amount of money to the handful of people who compete for CEO positions at large high-profile global corporations. Because if TH didn't stay on with BlackBerry, he most likely had plenty of other similiarly lucrative executive positions at other companies he could have opted to take if he so chose. If RIM/BlackBerry wanted TH to take the position, they have to compete for him just like everyone else.

Funny thing is, if you are looking for someone to run your company, you want someone who WANTS to run your company. Not, you know, to rake in the money.

If someone requires $55 mil to take the job, they never wanted the job.

Someone on this very website wisely said. "At this level ego is more important than money"

I believe what's said to be true.

Workings of the media as usual.

Posted via CB10

Ya well , that aint going to happen. Not at least for 2-3 yrs down the road if they Stay the course, but that depends on having huge HUGE deep ( DEEP ) pockets and willing to take some beatings to get there.
Look at MS.
I'm not sure most if any Company's are willing to go down that road.

If he is true that he cares about turning things around for BlackBerry, he should come out and state he is not going to take the money even if BlackBerry us sold.

And comon if sh!t is true about cutting costs to be more productive at BlackBerry, like a humble and serious CEO, he should have already came out and told that he wasn't taking a dime in bonuses and all before others lose their jobs. Did he?

Seriously, what do you think Heins is like during strategic alternative options process? More like: about time I get paid for the last 2 years of this sh!t and about time it's me, me, me, me...

And I pray and hope I'm wrong in my assessment and like all good Execs I'm hoping he comes out and sets the record straight...

Posted via CB10

Heins will come out and set things straight regarding his 55 million package the same way he gave us BB10 for our Playbooks. This guy is in it for himself.

What do I make of it? Heins will get $55 million. Makes me think that all the missed release dates, botched Z10 OS, and horrible carrier reception of the new OS was all part of a plan to make Blackberry fail...By Heins so he gets $55 million. No company is inept enough to screw up as badly as BB has since Heins took over. He did this diliberately to BB so he could get a $55 million payday. Theres no other explanation.

People. Thor doesn't own BlackBerry. The BOD and special committee will decide what happens to BlackBerry. Then the shareholders will vote. Then the new management has to decide on his fate. Thor is hardly in control of his future. That is why he has a safety net.

Posted via CB10

Do you even conceive how much 55 million is??? It is 55 briefcases neatly stacked with 1 million each. Thats not a safety net. Thats an obscene amount of cash, and no one man needs that much money.

With a 10 million (Thor) a year as a paycheck, we probably don't care with it!
Just sell it to got the most profit in is shares.

No single person is worth this amount of money...especially if they themselves haven't driven profits to support it.


Posted via CB10

YOU KNOW WHAT ! I wouldn't mind 55 millions to Thorsten Heins if we get $55.00 for the BlackBerry's s/p, rather than giving 12 millions to Mike Zafirovski for driving Nortel to bankruptcy.

For that price we could get 55 CEO's who collectively could help this company out of this mess or hire 550 great minds to help with development. This company continues to blow smoke up their ass, just as before. I feel sorry for the great employees there whose future is affected by a bunch of overpaid management.

As I've said all along, if I were the CEO and knew that, win OR fail, I was going to walk away with millions...I don't think I would be all that motivated....which is exactly the case with these guys.
THIS is why Heins doesn't make tough changes....THIS is why Boulben couldn't possibly care less about the criticism the marketing has received....THIS is why Saunders doesn't MAKE the ecosystem happen.
Win....lose....makes no difference to them

Pretty interesting how this story has spread far and wide. Almost as if people interested in pushing the stock down had a hand in its creation.

Wouldn't taking the company private also accomplish a "change in control" triggering the compensation clause? Perhaps, board members wishing to take the company private have a new CEO in mind and built Thor's parachute into the agreement.

Personally, I think Thor should express loyalty to Mike L.'s vision and just finish the relaunch of BlackBerry around BlackBerry 10. Various new BlackBerry services should be cross-platform, but offer superior integration within BB10 and we should see "mobile computing" before anyone talks about selling the company. The developer / app ecosystem needs to be given time to grow. Otherwise, he's just selling the NOC and IP. And that's selling shareholder's short in order to obtain the compensation package. Even if cross-platform BBM takes off, BlackBerry's very real potential will not be priced into any sale. Thor needs to finish the job!

Posted via CB10

Never ever leave a job unfinished! I want to see blackberry either go private or partner up instead of a gosh flunkin sale!

If i was thorsten i would sell the company and abandon the ship too. At this point, i would not totally blame him.

55 mils is a FRIGGIN LOT, and in the end.... he can always have the excuse that the company was destined to fail and too difficult to save in the state he received it...and that he did what he could for the brand and the customers but was not enought.

Easy pissy.


I'm beginning to think that us shareholders are being taken for a ride, I invested in BlackBerry because I believed in the new leadership, I'm expecting to lose my a... I stood up for BBRY on the financial pages because I believed, I bought more stock because I believed, I suspect I should have invested in Preparation H.

I hate to say this, but I'm feeling déjà vu all over again. This is starting to sound like the sorts of stories and rumors I used to read over at PreCentral.

This whole time he has been trying to fatten up the holiday cow for slaughter. Yay. I feel dumb for believing Thorsten at all. Will he buy back all our PlayBooks when he gets richer? Not

Posted via CB10

When you're a public status icon like Thor, there's a lot of pride and reputation on the line. The chance to have not one, but TWO potential turnaround organizations in a lifetime is a very rare opportunity - and one that I doubt he takes lightly. Bear in mind he is German, so there's additional pride involved :)

With that said, he's going to do everything he can before he sells out to maintain his integrity and pride. Being a business man at that level, you usually have nerves of steel and don't fold easily.

Give the man a break, he's the best leader BlackBerry has seen in years; and if there should be any support for his efforts, it should be in CrackBerry forums!

Bull!!!!!! Success spells best leader. Name one thing so far he has been successful with other than wasting money...come on just one thing.

Trimming $1 billion in spending, on time (actually, in advance of his projected date)

Brought BlackBerry 10 to market, on time.

Brought BES10 to market, on time.

- I'm stressing on time because previous owners had not met time lines as promised.

There has been a lot of internal change and restructure that he has had to spearhead as well, which I don't feel I need to expand on; but keep in mind that he was given a sinking organization and told to turn it around, amidst fierce competition and poor market perception.

I still think he has the best interest for the organization in mind; and am sticking around to see what happens.

Personal opinion :)

Awwh...come on. He has turned around nothing.

1. Does not meet timelines, continues as before and won't even give dates.
2. Brought BB10 to Canada and UK, and was not on time. Not sure where u are getting info?
3. Sure let's trim as this is the only way to make profits with declining market share and service revenue.
4. BES10. Is a potential saviour but they are making no money on this product. Nada!

That's the problem, can't execute and no one needs to be paid, potentially for drowning a company. The greed in the corporate rooms is unbelievable and no good news. A monkey as someone said could do a better jobs when all u are doing is throwing darts.

You are obviously a fan...but what I want is pay tied to performance. All I see here is non-performance. Very sad that society puts up with this. TH is already overpaid!

I'll do the job for 55000 and I can promise I'll do a better job. I'll start by for people who don't do Anything but get 55m a year

Posted via CB10

I wish shareholders could vote on it now. I'd vote my shares to get rid of Heins and Boulben right now. Boys were hired instead of men.

Folks!! wake up and smell the $55 Million. I don't know where this is headed, but I ask myself will CrackBerry be around by or after christmas? I'm ready for the bidding to begin on BBRY.

Now I know all the BlackBerry employees are working there for being sold.

CEO is working for being sold without informing all the working bees. What a shame!

Posted via CB10 with my White Cute Q10.

What are you all talking about?!?!

Heins has such charismatic stage presence!

It's not like he stands there like a stiff and just talks ...oh wait, never mind, he did exactly that when he presented BB10 back in January over in NYC.

If "charismatic stage presence" by the CEO is what makes a company succeed, please explain that to Microsoft, Apple (under Cook) and hundreds of other very profitable companies whose CEOs make your eyes and ears hurt.

TH is already 60 years old. He is actually elder than Mike L. 55 million is more than enough for retirement.

Posted via CB10 with my White Cute Q10.

Hey Thor! Here's a globe. Pick a spot. You can go live in luxury there, but first there's this company you need to sink...

An inept CEO hires an inept CMO. The dog and pony show continues on its merry way while an inept board of directors stands by wringing their hands. PRICELESS!!!

Any CEO who's job is to rescue the company they work for from being on the brink of bankruptcy or from being sold who makes more than 120k a year should be fired by the board of directors. Surely if the CEO of BBRY got BBRY to profitable status and then the company was bought by someone I wouldn't have a problem with the millions he or she would make, but not like this. It's no surprise BBRY is in such trouble when you hear of stories like this.

A good captain always sink with the ship , hope he invest 1 month of his salary ...... in some marketing. the product its exelent. imagine one month just one in digital marketing adds in face in google yahoo ,for a 15 day campain to make the people know the plataform , and the secure its is compared to others , but people dont know Z10 real power . he must have have even change.


If you search my posts you will find I predicted this months ago. Kevin, et al, couldn't see it. Thor has no problem taking advantage of well intentioned buyer. Naive buyers. and I am one of them, have no recourse. All I can say is shameful!!! I am glad I saw fit to free myself of all BB devices and stock! I swant nothing to do with this corruption.

So while Thorsten Heins Ketchup continues to stumble along a downward slope, pushing this company closer and closer to the brink of oblivion, if he fucks up, I get stuck with two expensive paperweights in the form of the excellent Z10 and the wonderful PlayBook, while he stands to gain more money then most of the BlackBerry employees combined will ever see in their lifetimes, let alone earn...

This makes me feel all warm and toasty inside...hmmmm I wonder what would happen to the average worker, if they messed up this badly...

Posted via CB10