Blackberry Shakes Up Executive Staff

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.


Keith Olbermann’s Comeback

For fans of SportsCenter and the old days of Countdown, Keith Olbermann is back and he’s promised his fans that he won’t talk about politics anymore. He’s made the rounds on network television; however, he hopes to stick around permanently. His “Olbermann” show that debuted on ESPN2 in August, is an hour long show with insights, analysis and opinions of the major sports stories of the day. In a recent interview with GQ magazine, he discusses redemption, and success and his thoughts on leaving SportsCenter.

Keith Olbermann on “Olbermann”

“If there’s anybody who bothers to write an obit for me, it will include something in the first paragraph about contentious exits. And I’d like to change that. So yeah, I kind of believe in redemption. This is my third tour at ESPN. I’ve had two at NBC, an eight-year run,” said Olbermann.

On leaving SportsCenter, Olbermann described it as a personal crisis. He says he was constantly asked “Why did you leave ESPN?” It was a meeting with Elizabeth Montgomery of Bewitched who helped him change his perspective. While on board a plane, Montgomery was constantly asked to twitch her nose, what she was famous for in the famous 1960s American comedy. She explained to Keith, “You don’t understand. This means they remember something that we did thirty years ago. That’s the essence of what I do and what you do. That’s what we’re doing it for. So they’ll remember it long after we stop doing it.”

Olbermann says, “So my last sort of crisis was about overcoming the people who were more interested in what I had done than what I was doing in the present. Thank you for remembering.”

Read more about the interview here.