BlackBerry CFO, COO, and CMO Depart Company

The Ties That Bind Us
BlackBerry appears to be undergoing an entire executive cleanse as CFO Brian Bidulka, CMO Frank Boulben, and COO Kirstrian Tear have all departed, according to a company press release. This comes just weeks after BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins stepped down, with John Chen replacing him. The company announced that BlackBerry SVP James Yersch would take over the CFO from Bidulka. No immediate replacements were named to the CMO and COO positions.

Such departures aren’t exactly unexpected, given the recent CEO change and BlackBerry’s ongoing struggles. However, it is unusual for three such high-powered positions to go vacant on the same day, especially without a replacement team in the wings. In addition, TechCrunch reports that a board member, Roger Martin, has left as well. It’s hard to know if these exits were pushed by interim-CEO Chen in order to make room for a hand-picked team, or signal a disturbing lack of faith in the company itself, after the recent bid to go private fell through.

If Chen does hope to turn the company around, he’ll need to fill the positions with smart, pragmatic executives. Another BlackBerry 10 style product flop could seal the company’s fate permanently. In fact, given the recent growth in cloud computing (and the industry’s future prospects), BlackBerry should at least consider cutting their loses on consumer devices all together, and focusing solely on their enterprise software and BYOD security solutions.