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Blackberry Announces Split From Alicia Keys

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Year long collaboration between the company and the singer comes to an end

Ailing Canadian smartphone manufacturer Blackberry is parting ways with its celebrity ‘creative director’, singer Alicia Keys. The partnership lasted less than a year, with Keys originally coming on board in January 2013 when the company launched its Blackberry 10 OS, which was meant to reinvent the company and revive its fortunes.

A statement from Blackberry to the Canadian news network CTV last night confirmed that Keys would be leaving her post as its global creative director on 30 January, saying, “We have enjoyed the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented and passionate individual.”

alicia keys blackberry singer cage chains © Tom Begasse Shutterstock Fallin’ out of love?

Keys’ major role at the company was as a celebrity face to promote Blackberry 10. The singer appeared at numerous Blackberry corporate events throughout 2013 and in some of the company’s promotional material, including participating in the launch of a scholarship program designed to attract more young women to science and technology

Keys also promoted the company and its devices via her social media accounts, posting updates about the products to her 18 million Twitter followers, and also incorporated the smartphone into a live performance during her most recent concert tour.

However, the relationship between the singer and the company was strained when eagle-eyed fans spotted her tweeting from both an iPad and iPhone. Keys denied this, claiming her Twitter account had been hacked – but why someone would hack her account and just fake the origin of her tweets remains obscure.

Keys’ departure follows a series of major changes undertaken by Blackberry since the appointment of new interim CEO John Chen in November 2013. Under Chen’s leadership, previous top executives left, and  the company abandoned attempts to sell itself. It has posted a loss of $4.4billion (£2.7bn) during its most recent fiscal quarter, and cancelled both its Blackberry Live conference and the launch of two unreleased new smartphones, indicating a higher reliance on contract manufacturing by Chinese firm FoxConn.

The company has also said that it is  looking to now concentrate its focus away from the consumer market towards enterprise and government organisations.

Researching this article, we noticed that BlackBerry apparently has a previous track record in musical promotions. We embed here, with no comment (or comprehension) BlackBerry Anthem by Dc Team and Krys. from 2012.

 

 

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