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Alicia Keys out of Blackberry as creative director

January 2
11:51 PM 2014

Multiple technology news reports pointed to a CTV News item that Blackberry Ltd's global creative director, musician and celebrity Alicia Keys, has been relieved of her position. The Canadian news report revealed that Keys will be leaving the phone maker on January 30. Keys has held her position as the phone's creative director for exactly one year, Business Insider said in its report.

Keys joined Blackberry at the time when the Canadian phone maker launched its new BlackBerry 10 operating system. After the mobile operating system and the Blackberry 10-equipped devices failed to capture its targeted market share, the company failed to go private. Since then, Thorsten Heins has stepped down as chief executive officer of Blackberry. The Canadian firm's focus, said a Business Insider report, was now on selling phones in emerging markets like Indonesia and its enterprise business.

The tenure of the popular musician was followed immediately by controversy. CTV News cited corporate critics, who said that despite the businesslike title Keys had with the company, she was just a celebrity that her sole job was to merely attract attention to the company's smartphones then. After accepting the role in Blackberry, she was reportedly caught posting a tweet using an iPhone shortly. Keys later claimed that her account was hacked after technology blogs have picked up on her tweet.

Nonetheless, Keys was an effective celebrity spokesperson as oppose to being a typical regular employee. CNET said in a separate report that Keys was effective with marketing and promotion by attending events and by participating in a scholarship program focused on young women in science and technology. The report said products released after Keys' employment and during her tenure with the firm did not have any of her perceptible influence.

Blackberry said in a statement about Keys' departure, "We have enjoyed the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented and passionate individual."

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