BlackBerry’s new CEO picks up $85m+ pay packet

BlackBerry has awarded its new executive chairman with $85 million [£53 million] worth of shares in the hope that he’ll stick around.

John Chen, who has been signed up to try and turn the company around, has a pay package worth $1 million [£625,000] a year in base salary and up to $2 million [£1.25 million] in performance related bonuses. Chen also receives 13 million shares of restricted stock worth $85 million [£53 million] – vesting over the next five years, according to The Verge.

In addition to this handsome package he is entitled to a termination package worth $6 million [£3.75 million] should the partnership come to an end.

Chen got the job last week in the wake of the company not being able to secure a deal with its largest shareholder Fairfax Financial that would have seen it takeover the entire company. The failure led to CEO Thorsten Heins relinquishing his role and Fairfax being left with $1 billion [£627 million] from various investors to attempt to bring the firm back into profit.

Before joining BlackBerry, Chen was chairman, CEO and president of independent software vendor Sybase and called his new company “an iconic brand with enormous potential” whilst pointing out the turnaround would take “time, discipline and tough decisions”.

As for BlackBerry it sees the move to appoint Chen as a positive one and that the cash position of the company is a lot more secure with selling the company now taking a back seat in favour of the convertible debt sale and carrying on as it is.

The stock market reacted badly with the firm’s ailing share price dropping by a further 18 per cent since the Fairfax Financial deal collapse was announced with the steady slide leaving it at CA$6.81 [£4.06] per share earlier today.

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