Report: 2 more BlackBerry executives leaving the company

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Two more senior BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) executives will be heading for the doors soon, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The report, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said that Rick Costanzo, the executive vice president in charge of global sales, will be leaving the company by early next year, and that Chris Wormald, who was in charge of BlackBerry's mergers and acquisitions strategy, will be gone by the end of this month.

BlackBerry declined to comment, according to the report.

If confirmed, the departures would come just weeks after interim CEO John Chen shook up the management team, with COO Kristian Tear and CMO Frank Boulben leaving the company. Additionally, CFO Brian Bidulka is leaving and will be replaced by James Yersh, the company said. Yersh, who has worked at BlackBerry since 2008, previously served as senior vice president, controller and as the company's head of compliance. Bidulka will stay on as a special advisor to Chen for the remainder of the company's fiscal year to assist with the transition.

BlackBerry in September reported a $965 million quarterly loss, which was primarily due to a $934 million charge it took related to unsold inventory of its Z10 smartphone. BlackBerry has also said it will cut 4,500 jobs, around 40 percent of its workforce. The company is due to report its next round of quarterly results on Friday, which many analysts expect to be weak.

When Chen took over in early November, he told employees during a town-hall meeting, "Things are going to get worse before they get better," and that, "Not all of you will be here," according to the Journal, which cited an unnamed person in attendance that day.

Earlier this month Chen issued an open letter to BlackBerry's enterprise customers in which he declared that the company is here to stay, and said that BlackBerry is "going back to our heritage and roots--delivering enterprise-grade, end-to-end mobile solutions." He also reminded the market that the company's BlackBerry 10 platform can perform mobile device management for other smartphone platforms, not just BlackBerry.

Chen, a former CEO of Sybase, took the helm at BlackBerry on Nov. 4 from former CEO Thorsten Heins. The company announced last month it had halted its plans to go private in a $4.7 billion deal led by Fairfax Financial Holdings, its largest shareholder, and will instead receive $1 billion in financing in the form of convertible notes from Fairfax and other investors.

Meanwhile, late last week BlackBerry said it has agreed with its debtholders to extend a deadline that gives potential investors a chance to buy up to an additional $250 million in convertible debt. The deadline is now Jan. 13.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this separate WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Reuters article

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