BlackBerry Returns to its Roots, Parts Ways With Alicia Keys

After a year of focusing on the consumer market, BlackBerry will once again concentrate on its business and government customers.

by / January 3, 2014

In January 2013, BlackBerry launched a new phone to try and regain traction in a market dominated by Apple and Samsung -- and hired singer-songwriter Alicia Keys as its global creative director. 

But after drastic profit losses -- almost $1 billion in the second quarter alone -- the company has changed its leadership and strategy. In November of 2013, it failed at an attempt to go private, and its CEO, Thorsten Heins, stepped down.

After the tumultuous year, Blackberry will now move away from the consumer market to focus once again on business and government customers, BBC News reported.

Keys was essentially celebrity spokesperson, and in early 2013, Technology Analyst Rob Enderle said that using celebrities to endorse products sometimes produces lackluster results; he cited musician's contract with Intel, a deal Enderle said didn't help the manufacturer in any quantifiable way.

Despite Keys' intentions of making a difference, her position will come to an end on Jan. 30 -- exactly one year from when it began. 

"We have enjoyed the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented and passionate individual," the company said of Keys in a statement.

As The Register noted, it is unclear whether Keys left the position or the company decided to let her go.