Blackberry Ditches Sale Plan, Replaces CEO

Shares down in pre-market trading

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Julie Fletcher / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Thorsten Heins, president and chief executive officer of Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM)

Blackberry said Monday that it was giving up on its plan to find a buyer and replacing its top executive after a deal to sell the company to a major shareholder fell through.

The struggling handset maker’s battered shares were down another 18 percent in pre-market trading following the news. The rescue $4.7 billion rescue deal to sell BlackBerry to Fairfax Financial Holdings was complicated by struggles to raise financing for the sale, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company is replacing CEO Thorstein Heins with interim CEO John S. Chen, and the once-dominant player in the smartphone market is still selling $1 billion of convertible debt to Fairfax.

“BlackBerry is an iconic brand with enormous potential — but it’s going to take time, discipline and tough decisions to reclaim our success,” Chen said in a statement. “I look forward to leading BlackBerry in its turnaround and business model transformation for the benefit of all of its constituencies, including its customers, shareholders and employees.”