Emerging Technology

Amid $US1 billion loss crisis and massive layoffs, BlackBerry boss Heins bought a new private jet

Andrew Sadauskas /

What would you do if your company experienced a disastrous quarter in which it lost nearly $US1 billion, announced cuts to 40% of its workforce, saw its sales collapse, suffered the mass resignations of senior executives and was put up for sale?

For Thorsten Heins, the chief executive of embattled smartphone maker BlackBerry, the answer was simple: buy a new corporate jet!

The Wall Street Journal reports the mobile phone maker is now the proud owner of a new Bombardier Global Express jet, according to Canadian aircraft registry records.

The jet, purchased during July, set the company’s balance sheet back a measly $US25 million to $US29 million, a mere drop in the bucket next to the company’s massive quarterly loss of between $US950 million to $US995 million.

According to Bombardier’s official website, the aircraft – typically set up to seat 18 with a spacious lounge – is designed to allow “world leaders” like Heins to fly the skies without compromise.

“This jet was purpose-built to fulfil the desires of the most sophisticated and demanding business travellers without compromise. Ready to fly when you are, with only a 30-minute notice, this jet keeps a literal world of destinations at your fingertips,” Bombardier states on its website.

“The world’s leaders and their staff can stay at the top of their game, surrounded by an ample galley, dedicated crew rest area, generous main cabin and luxuriously traffic-free private stateroom.”

News of the new jet comes after a consortium led by investment guru Prem Watsa launched a $US4.7 billion takeover bid for the Canadian mobile phone maker.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry’s rollout of its Messenger app for Android and iOS was frozen due to technical issues with its release.

The company has also recently revealed it is sitting on an inventory of around $US1 billion worth of unsold Z10 smartphones.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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