The Globe and Mail reports in its Friday edition that with the John Chen era coming to a close at BlackBerry, we can say that he made many millions of dollars less in pay than the company's board intended. The Globe's David Milstead writes, however, that given the stock's performance over the last decade, aggrieved investors will say anything is too much.
Mr. Chen, chief executive officer since 2013, departs today. As you may recall, BlackBerry hired Mr. Chen, known at the time for a turnaround of money-losing database and business services company Sybase Inc., to much fanfare, and even more money. BlackBerry valued his first-year compensation package at nearly $85-million (U.S.), driven by a massive grant of BlackBerry stock.
BlackBerry's board awarded him another big package to stay at the helm as his five-year employment contract neared an end in 2018. The company valued the stock award, which this time included some performance conditions, at $106.3-million (U.S.). As is painfully known, BlackBerry shares are trading about 28 per cent below the $6.75 close the day Mr. Chen joined. As for what value the board may have thought he could add going forward, the fact Mr. Chen is out of a job says it all.
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