Blackberry is again seeing some dramatic shifts in top level staff as a Marketwired report stated that COO Kristian Tear, CMO Frank Bulben and CFO Brian Bidulka all left the company today. The departures didn’t take too many people by surprise, given that former CEO Thorstun Heins was also replaced by John Chen earlier this month.
Though the official statement made no mention to the effect, it is unlikely that all three left voluntarily. The latest changes in staff indicate that a major shift in direction for Blackberry is in the works.
Boulben has been generally perceived as doing a poor job with Blackberry’s marketing around Blackberry 10, which resulted in poor sales and Tear has also seen criticism for doing little than being in charge of mass layoffs in the last few years. The board at Blackberry seems to agree, having replaced Boulben with former SVP James Yerch. Replacements for the other executive positions have not yet been named.
Blackberry has played second fiddle to iPhone and Android products for quite some time now, and the tepid Blackberry 10 release was no exception. Blackberry suffered a major $1 billion loss last quarter, and more of the same is expected in the coming December report. A shift in vision may be what the company needs to get back up off the ground, but time will tell if Chen can bring Blackberry out of free fall.