UPDATE 2-BlackBerry offers bumper package to new CEO

Thu Nov 7, 2013 9:23pm EST
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO Nov 7 (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd will pay its new interim CEO a base salary of $1 million, a bonus of up to twice that amount as well as stock awards potentially worth some $85 million, in the hopes of turning around Canada's most prominent technology company.

John Chen, the second consecutive chief executive officer at BlackBerry to receive a bumper package, will have to help the embattled smartphone maker regain its footing and win back market share ceded to the likes of Apple's iPhone and a range of devices that run on Google Inc's Android operating system.

Chen was credited with turning around Sybase Inc in the late 1990s. Sybase, an enterprise software company, was eventually acquired by SAP AG in 2010.

Chen's share awards only begin to vest after he completes three years with BlackBerry, and the majority of the options will vest only after he completes his fifth year, according to a regulatory filing late on Thursday.

Should Chen be fired without cause, he will be paid up to $6 million, according to the filing.

Chen's appointment came after BlackBerry stunned many on Monday when it abandoned plans to sell itself and instead opted to raise funds via a $1 billion notes offering led by Fairfax , its largest shareholder.

Fairfax, led by investment guru Prem Watsa, had said it was investing $250 million in the offering.   Continued...