BlackBerry’s New CEO John Chen Gets $88M Pay Package

John Chen
John Chen, the new CEO and executive chairman at BlackBerry, will get $3 million in salary and bonuses along with restricted stock value at $85 million.  Chen was named CEO on November 4th and he will be eligible for $1 million in base salary and a performance bonus of $2 million.  He is also going to be awarded with 13 million shares that will vest over five years.

Chen was appointed CEO and chairman on the same day that Fairfax Financial Holdings would not be able to complete the $4.7 billion deal to buy out BlackBerry.  Instead, Fairfax will be orchestrating a $1 billion bond deal to increase BlackBerry’s cash position.  Other backers in the debt sale includes Fairfax Financial ($250 million), Mackenzie Financial Corp. ($200 million), Markel Corp. ($100 million), Canso Investment Counsel Ltd. ($300 million), Qatar Holding LLC ($100 million), and Brookfield Asset Management ($50 million).

Chen was named as the interim CEO while BlackBerry searches for a permanent replacement for Thorsten Heins.  Heins will receive a termination payment of around $14 million.

If Chen is terminated without cause, he will receive a salary of that year plus two times his base salary and bonus.  This amounts to around $6 million.

BlackBerry is seeking a tax refund of as much as $1 billion before the end of this year, according to sources with Bloomberg.  The company is negotiating for a larger refund than the $500 million previously disclosed.

The debenture transaction is expected to be completed within the next two weeks, according to the filing.  Fairfax will have the option to arrange for $250 million more of the debentures within 30 days of the transaction closing.

BlackBerry will have to pay a termination fee to the bond investors if they enter into an agreement to sell the company.  The fee ranges at between $135 million and $250 million.

[Source: Bloomberg]

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