BlackBerry ditches its CEO as potential buyer falls through

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While Google may have been among a lengthy list of rumored suitors for BlackBerry, it appears its latest attempt to sell the company has failed. In fact, the collapse of the deal with Fairfax has led to the ousting of CEO Thorstein Heins and the raising $1 billion in convertible debt. So, you win some you lose some, eh?

The “new” BlackBerry will be led by John S. Chen who will be appointed Executive Chair of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors and is now responsible for the strategic direction, strategic relationships and organizational goals for BlackBerry. We wish John the very, very best of luck in this difficult climate.

“Today’s announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of preeminent, long-term investors,” said Barbara Stymiest, Chair of BlackBerry’s Board. “The BlackBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders. This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position. Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner for their needs.”

It’s an unfortunate day for the folks in Waterloo and while there was an inkling of hope that Google might scoop up the company formerly known as RIM, it appears they are now back at square one in their attempts to knock Android and iOS off their pedestals.

via BlackBerry

Google buys self-serve package pickup startup BufferBox

bufferbox

As noted by a blog post on the BufferBox blog and a report from the FinancialPost, Google confirmed today it has acquired two-year-old self-serve package pickup startup, Buffer Box, for an undisclosed sum. The Waterloo, Ontario based startup was previously working out of the Communitech Hub startup incubator, located downstairs from Google’s Waterloo offices.

FinancialPost explained how the BufferBox service works:

BufferBox’s service provides users with temporary lockers in central locations which can accept packages sent by online retailers. Users sign up for a BufferBox address, which is provided to the online merchant. When a parcel arrives at one of BufferBox’s self-serve kiosks, the users receives an email and can pick up their package using a one-time-use code. The locker can then be used to store a package from another user.

As for what Google plans to do with the company, Google Waterloo engineering director Steve Woods told FinancialPost it would “keep doing BufferBox” while saying there “real exciting space beyond this amazing start with boxes, and the idea of touching consumers as part of their end-to-end experience is something we’re going to explore together.”

Back in October we heard Google was testing a same-delivery service in San Francisco and even had plans to use self-driving cars in the pilot program. BufferBox could possibly play a role in Google’s future delivery services.

The BufferBox team, including founders Mike McCauley, Aditya Bali and Jay Shah, had this to say on the company’s blog: Read more