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BlackBerry drops Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys apparently fired as BlackBerry’s global creative director, following a mass cull of the smartphone manufacturer’s workforce.

It was an eyebrow-raising appointment to begin with, and now BlackBerry appears to have sacked global creative director Alicia Keys after just one year. BlackBerry announced yesterday that singer Keys would leave the company on January 30, and while it didn’t give an official reason, many publications such as The New York Times have reported that she was fired following BlackBerry’s poor financial results.

Alicia Keys leaves BlackBerry as global creative director

Ms Keys follows ex-CEO Thorsten Heins out of BlackBerry’s door, with 40% of the total workforce set to be laid off. The bleak news comes after BlackBerry reported massively reduced revenue and sales last year, with the Z10 proving a particularly big disappointment. The Z10 was the Canadian company’s first BB10 smartphone, following months of silence from BlackBerry, and as such had a lot of hope resting on its plasticky shoulders. Sadly it turned out to be an underwhelming handset, despite BB10’s obvious pros.

During her time as global creative director, Ms Keys worked on projects such as a scholarship program designed to get young women into technology careers. Sadly, beyond a brief appearance at the Z10 launch last January, we never got to see her in action. Considering BlackBerry is swapping focus back to enterprise, it’s unlikely that her role will be refilled.

-Chris Barraclough

Image: Flickr

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