BlackBerry says CEO Chen to stay on through 2023

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BlackBerry turns to driverless technology

BlackBerry CEO John Chen on the companies push into driverless technology.

(Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd, has extended Executive Chairman and Chief Executive John Chen's contract by five years through November 2023, the Canadian company said on Thursday.

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Chen joined BlackBerry in November 2013, charged with breathing life into struggling smartphone maker by rebuilding its once booming handset business. (http://reut.rs/2paV7Yw)

However, since then, the company has withdrawn from the smartphone manufacturing business and enlarged its cybersecurity and embedded software business through a string of acquisitions.

"John engineered a successful turnaround and has the company repositioned to apply its strengths and assets to the Enterprise of Things, an emerging category with massive potential," said Prem Watsa, the board's lead director.

BlackBerry Chen's base salary, short-term cash incentive and benefits will remain unchanged, and that the extension was weighted toward long-term performance-based equity and cash awards in addition to a time-based equity award.

For all the performance-based awards to vest, BlackBerry's market capitalization would have to rise about 134 percent from the current value, to roughly $16.1 billion, the company said.

(Reporting by Karan Nagarkatti in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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