While grappling with a $4.4 billion loss in its last quarter, the smartphone maker BlackBerry has fired several senior executives, including its chief executive, and is in the midst of laying off about 40 percent of its employees. Thursday, the musician Alicia Keys joined them as she lost her position as the company’s global creative director.
Some followers of BlackBerry might be surprised to learn that she still had the job. She was named to the post in January 2013 at a New York launch event for the BlackBerry 10 line of phones. While she was prominent in various events to introduce the new products early in the year, her public role at the company, which is based in Waterloo, Ont., noticeably faded after the new phones proved to be a flop.
In an emailed statement, Adam Emery, a spokesman for the company, offered no specific reason for Keys’ departure, which is effective at the end of this month.
“BlackBerry and Alicia Keys have completed our yearlong collaboration,” the statement said.
After accepting the job last year, Keys continued to use an iPhone to post on Twitter, apparently unaware of software that tracks what device was used to create Twitter posts.
Given that John S. Chen, BlackBerry’s interim chief executive, is refocusing the company on business and government users, it seems unlikely that he will name a replacement for Keys in the creative director’s job.