Canadian software company BlackBerry has announced that CEO John Chen will remain with the company for another five years.
Chen first joined Waterloo-based BlackBerry in November 2013. He was brought on to turn around the former hardware manufacturer’s struggling legacy.
“John engineered a successful turnaround and has the company repositioned to apply its strengths and assets to the Enterprise of Things, an emerging category with massive potential,” said Prem Watsa, the BlackBerry board’s lead director, according to Reuters.
According to a March 15th, 2018 BlackBerry media release, Chen’s base salary, short-term cash incentive and benefits will not change.
In addition to his regular salary, Chen will receive a time-based equity award — consisting of five million shares that will vest annually beginning on November 3rd, 2019 — as well as a performance-based equity award — consisting of five million more shares.
The performance-based shares will vest in five equal tranches “if and when the market price of BlackBerry’s shares rises to reach whole dollar amounts from $16 USD to $20 USD.”
Chen will receive his performance-based award if BlackBerry’s stock reaches $30 USD.
As of the time of this writing, BlackBerry’s stock is worth $16.97 CAD, meaning that Chen’s 10 million shares are worth roughly $169.7 million CAD. That figure wasn’t calculated using the performance-based equity requirements.
Since Chen joined BlackBerry, the company managed to pivot from hardware development towards software, establishing partnerships Chinese search giant Baidu, while also continuing work on autonomous and connected vehicle technology.
When Chen first joined BlackBerry, the company’s stock hovered around $7 CAD. As of the time of writing, the company’s stock is worth $16.58 CAD — a roughly 230 percent increase.
Update 15/03/2018 (10:36am ET): Story updated with additional reporting.