$85 million: This is the amount BlackBerry’s exec team would earn if the company is sold and they’re all terminated

Ian Hardy

August 16, 2013 10:07 am

BlackBerry started off this week by announcing plans to “explore strategic alternatives” that could lead towards a “possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.” This news was certainly not too shocking as Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry CEO, has stated for months that at the very least he was interested in licensing the new BlackBerry 10 OS to other manufacturers. To help with this process of BlackBerry has formed a Special Committee, with assistance from JP Morgan Securities, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Torys LLP.

An interesting set of numbers has surfaced from BlackBerry’s May proxy filing. According to the doc, if any of the exec team are terminated, or if a sale of the company happens and they are terminated, they will all rake in some serious cash. Here’s the breakdown:

Upon Termination:
– Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry CEO, will receive a total package of $22,017,072
– Brian Bidulka, BlackBerry CFO, will receive a total package of $4,462,231
– Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry CLO, will receive a total package of $3,067,915
– Frank Boulben, BlackBerry CMO, will receive a total package of $3,087,915
– Kristian Tear, BlackBerry COO, will receive a total package of $2,173,941

Upon Sale of Company and Termination:
– Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry CEO, will receive a total package of $55,615,227
– Brian Bidulka, BlackBerry CFO, will receive a total package of $6,052,356
– Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry CLO, will receive a total package of $7,910,409
– Frank Boulben, BlackBerry CMO, will receive a total package of $7,713,945
– Kristian Tear, BlackBerry COO, will receive a total package of $7,389,050

Heins is a member on the ‘special committee’ that is seeking a buyer so he’ll be engaged in all the finer details of a potential transaction. These figures all include base salaries, various incentives, retirement savings and equity awards, but will only be granted it an exec is terminated, or doubled up with a sale and then terminated. If BlackBerry finds a new buyer who decides to push out the entire exec team the total cost amounts to $84,680,987.

bbd

Source: BlackBerry
Via: N4BB, Bloomberg

  • J-Ro

    Win or lose, in a sale, the C-levels stand to make a small fortune.

  • Samuel Gomez Recuero

    Looks to me that the whole financial scheme is corrupted! 3mil a year as base salary that is some serious cash.

    • icyhotonmynuts

      Some serious cash indeed, to become boss of a company, sit back, and watch it tank. Hell – I could do that!

  • iphoneee’s bro

    For one year of work, Heins will benefit so much? This doesn’t even make sense given that the company’s performance wasn’t turned around.

    • iphoneee’s bro

      Even the Marketing officer…

    • Samuel Gomez Recuero

      Indeed those numbers gotta be wrong

    • Fawoo

      He’s been there since 2007 so he’s not some new hire they brought in externally. So he’s being paid for that work he did from 2007-now, as well as that sweet bonus he gets for being head of BB this past year.

      Of course, that’s if the company is sold and everyone is terminated immediately.

    • selonmoi

      What, he’s been working for free up to this point? No, he’s already been compensated for his past work for the company.

      $55 million is far more than one person could possibly need in a lifetime. It is simply obscene that anyone could be paid that sum after presiding over the destruction of their company.

    • Fawoo

      Well people are making it sound like he just joined, hence why I provided information that he’s been there for a while now.

      Also, it’s quite absurd you think he “presided over the destruction of his company”. As it was already destroyed around 2010-2011.

      “$55 million is far more than one person could need in a lifetime”. How do you know he won’t donate most of that? How do you know he won’t put that back into the economy or use it to improve Canada’s education system? You don’t know what he’s going to do with the money thus you can’t say it’s more than one person could need in a lifetime because you don’t know his needs and wants.

      Just wait until you’ve gained a large lump sum of money for working somewhere, I’ll be there to let you know that you don’t deserve that large sum! ;)

    • gommer strike

      You’re calling us out on “how do we know” this or that about Heins. But how do YOU know, that he’ll be the next Bill Gates and open up a Heins foundation?

      Indeed, how we know *anything* about what the man’s thinking or not thinking? All conjecture and we just all look like a knitting circle around a campfire.

    • Fawoo

      Can’t disagree with that, we just look like a knitting circle around a campfire.

    • Stephen_81

      48Million of that is equity awared which is pay he was given over the last 6 years in terms of stock options and the like. while it still seems like a lot to most on this board, his 55Million departure from a company with the exposure he has had isn’t unexpected.

      The CEO of AirCanada recieved 5Million just for sticking around as a bonus over his 1.2(ish)Million Salary. and he hasn’t been with the company as long as Thorsten has been with BlackBerry

    • hardy83

      Nope! That’s how companies work! The ones at the top get to fly off a sinking ship in a golden helicopter, and all the hard working people at the bottom just drown.

      Go Capitalism!

  • Mike Markooni

    lol, whole financial sector is corrupt, and before anyone starts shooting me down; consider that there is an army of people that help a CEO to make decision and they don’t get a fraction of what the CEO gets in terms of salary.

    we all know to good how companies work, who makes CEO and Why. It is Dog eat dog world out there.

  • Plazmic Flame

    Holy crap, that’s some serious cash. You can pretty much live off that for the rest of your life.

    Off topic: I don’t understand how people go broke who make millions (athletes, artists, etc)

    Avg person makes 1 – 2 million over their entire life (working years).

    • Dimitri

      Its pretty easy to understand how they go broke. Buying 5+ million dollar houses & mansions. Buying sports cars worth a quarter of a million dollars. Buying things that are not needed. Private jets & jet fuel. Paying the pilots to fly you to your city. Buying expensive clothes & jewelry

      Think about it. lol. There is more.

    • dinmab

      there is a great documentary on this in netlix. in short.
      1)They think the money inflow will last for ever.
      2)Tax
      3)Over spending
      4)Change in respective on what they need and what they dont.
      5)Addiction
      6)Insecurity

    • Rick Kenneth Restrepo Carmona

      What’s the documentary called?

    • dinmab

      Broke.

    • Plazmic Flame

      Thanks, will check that doc out.

  • tyresmoke

    That’s a bit much for selling something you don’t own, or didn’t play a large part in creating.

  • southerndinner

    No one is going to buy BlackBerry. They’ve been LOSERS for years now and continue to release a sub par product.

    • Dimitri

      Says the person hiding behind a screen & never made a phone or a OS right? Go on with your life kid.

    • FuzzyFish6

      Lol, he does sound like a cocky little pimply faced teenager doesn’t he?

    • Stephen MacDougall

      If BB was to be purchased, it wouldn’t be for the hardware; It would be for the patent portfolio. As a long-time player in the smartphone space, they have some really good, and key, patents that would be worth purchasing. For example, BB owns patents relating to some of the best encryption algorithms currently deployed, so that would be worth some money. So, it is easy to see some company, like Lenovo or Google, purchasing BB for the patent portfolio, and then shutting the company down. Maybe Google would merge it into Motorola.

    • JTon

      I don’t disagree with you. But I do ask you stop responding to southerndinner, he’s a plague on these comment boards

    • Plazmic Flame

      Southerndinner, you always give me a good laugh.

      On the contrary though, there are people who would slit the throat of the their top execs to get some of the patents that BlackBerry holds. It’s not just about their products…

  • Threecube

    Smile! Your on Candid Camera!

  • FuzzyFish6

    Thorsten Hines could become a very rich man lol. Wow.

    It’s been interesting how much (publicly, at least) he seems to want BB10 to work out and how he insisted that a sale of the company was the last option.

    • Stephen_81

      55Million isn’t really “a rich man” if you’re used to a salary of 3Milliion,

      It isn’t like he will walk into another CEO roll since he has yet to change public perception of BlackBerry. 55Million and losing nearly half of that to taxes doesn’t leave one used to living a millionaires life a lot of money

    • FuzzyFish6

      What? Even if he made $3 million/year, it’ll still take more than 18 years to get to $55 million.

      A CEO’s job isn’t always to change the perception of the company. If he was hired to prep BB for a sale by improving their financials and trimming fat, he’s done a very good job so far.

    • Stephen_81

      While I agree with you that IF his job was to do such a prep he has done a Good job, except he would have sold the company back in January, when the shares were closer to $18 vs now if that was in fact his goal.

      And Thorsten didn’t make $3m a year, he made a 3m Salary + near 3m in bonuses/incentives coupled with an expense account 55m is really only 7 or 8 years, far from the 18.

      Now I wont compare my expense account with Thorstens but the travel rewards I get from that expense account equate to a pretty nice over seas vacation each year. I suspect he sees considerable non financial benefits associated with his roll as CEO.

  • fidorulz

    One option that maybe interesting is for Nokia to buy BB.

    1-They gain an OS if they desire to give up on doing windows exclusively for their phones and still refuse to do android. (makes no sense to me since Nokia seems to forget they make most of their cash from hardware and as such shouldnt limit themselves to 1 OS)

    2-They also get access and cash flow which they need from many patents BB has

    3-On top of that the BB email infrastructure is still top notch in general which gives them possibility to get all BB users who still need it as well as governments and businesses that need/require use of it or may simply consider it to costly to change infrastructure

    4-Lastly they can choose to finally provide access to BBM services to either only windows mobile users or make more money by generally distributing it to various OS on a per month/year subscription basis and make revenue that way

    Nokia dropped the ball by not buying Palm when Symbian was dieing which would have given them the numbers 1 and 2 above without having to bend over for microsoft

    Otherwise they can also do all of the above but in partnership with Microsoft but then the OS part would be most likely mute unless Nokia keeps the option to use it down the road

    • JTon

      Do you think Nokia has the cash to buy BB?

    • fidorulz

      In the business world you don’t need cash or even to be profitable to buy stuff. As long as your company is worth more(so can be used as collateral) or people that can finance your purchase believe you will pay them back in the long term or even stock options as well as many other ways are available.

      Only issue would be if there is a bidding war or something with the likes of a google or apple

    • JTon

      I don’t know much about this stuff, so I’m not disagreeing with you. I just find it hard to believe Nokia would be able to leverage it’s bleeding business or gain any financial confidence to purchase a company the size of BB.

    • Plazmic Flame

      People don’t realize that Nokia is a shell of it’s former self. Honestly, it isn’t even really a fully functioning company. It’s like a sham marriage between Nokia and Microsoft…

  • Rich

    I want BlackBerry to succeed (not enough to buy a device though), but it’s difficult to comprehend how terrible a lot of their moves are. How can you possibly be so out of touch with the consumer… or better yet, common sense.

    • Plazmic Flame

      Being an iPhone user, I would definitely want to buy a device. They just haven’t released anything that I want.

  • mola2alex

    but how much does Alicia Keys make? You know, the creative director that uses an iPhone.

    Jokes aside, it is pretty crazy how much execs make, you really just need to make it there, not really do anything for a year or two and walk away a lottery winner. Odds are actually much better at becoming a CEO than winning the lottery.

  • Plazmic Flame

    Dude… what kind of women you’ve been seeing lately?? LOL

  • FTR_Part_deux

    Definitely in that 1% group!

  • Balls O’Steele

    If Thorstein can sell bbry for $16 per share then he’s earned every penny.

    • wildspin

      Just take a look at last 5 years BBRY stock price chart and think about its implications … all BBRY management has earned is a middle finger.

  • Gus Ferrachi

    Common practice on Wall Street…Hundreds of news releases about the same thing like it’s out of the norm………..

  • PT

    2 words: SCUM BAG!

  • Elvis Ma

    It was their master plan all along!

  • Ranjo Red

    Its ridiculous that people say Hein’s severance package is underserved. If somone thinks you’re worth 55 million by all means take the money! Heins put himself in the position to be considered for such a great pay out.

  • kroms

    Anyone notice the FAT Lady in the corner ? I think she is warming up.

  • Troclon

    Blackberry should thank all canadians who chose the shitty compteition instead of the national brand. You all belong to the kind of people who choose a platform mostly for the availability of silly applications like angry birds or whatever. With that kind of mentality, what can you expect?

  • Guest

    Don’t terminate anybody, just demote them.

  • hardy83

    Oh those 10k jobs that were cut must have gotten million dollar payouts too right?
    No? Just one super rich guys on top that do less work than all those people?
    Oh? What? Capitalism? Deal with it?
    ..Uh…Okay…I’m sure trickle down economics will make it to those now jobless ex-Rim employees. I mean it must right? That’s why the current government is so cozy with big business, because it’s for the benefit of the people right?

  • Thomas C. Riddell

    where do I sign up to be black berry exec no wounder they lose money

  • Jesse Laurin

    take the 55 million and run, before it’s 5.5 million..

  • aaron

    As some have already mentioned, it’s crazy to see that you can still make $3,000,000 a year even when the company you’re running is tanking.

  • Lukeiphone

    Maybe this is why Thorsten Heins stopped caring now..

  • Sonnislav

    Gawd, failure has never been so rewarding!