John Chen, interim CEO of BlackBerry, is going to have a base salary of $1 million. He will also get a performance bonus, which will be around $2 million, and stock whose worth will be $85 million.
BlackBerry has been struggling to regain its position in the market after the arrival of Android and iOS. The interim CEO, who replaced Thorsten Heins, will have to help the once prominent smartphone company win back customers' and investors' confidence, and regain its footing.
There is a little catch in awarding the shares, however. According to a regulatory filings, Chen's share award will only invest in after he completes three years with the company. The majority of the shares will start vesting after his fifth year completion. In case Chen is fired without reason, he will still be paid $6 million.
At present, the current market value of each Blackberry share is $6.51. If Chen manages to turn Blackberry around, the value of his 13 million BlackBerry shares will be lot more. Chen was the CEO of Sybase and is known for turning it into a profitable company that provides business software for mobile devices. Sybase was acquired by SAP in July 2010.
Chen is optimistic. "BlackBerry is an iconic brand with enormous potential - but it's going to take time, discipline and tough decisions to reclaim our success. I look forward to leading BlackBerry in its turnaround and business model transformation for the benefit of all of its constituencies, including its customers, shareholders and employees," he said in a statement.
Recently, in a rather surprising move, Blackberry decided not to put itself on the block but rather raise recovery funds through its largest shareholder, Fairfax.
The company also said that Canso Investment Counsel Ltd was investing $300 million. Fairfax, its largest shareholder with 10 percent stake, has committed to $250 million. Companies such as Qatar Holding, Markel Corp and Mackenzie Financial are investing the remainder, which is worth $1 billion.
BlackBerry has also agreed to pay a minimal fee to investors if it could not avoid its sale.
Currently, the smartphone manufacturer is in the process of cutting cost and streamlining operations. The company has decided to lay off about 4,500 employees to refocus on its core business.