Huge payout likely for Blackberry CEO

Blackberry, formerly Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins, and singer Alicia Keys officially unveil the BlackBerry 10 mobile platform as well as two new devices January 30, 2013 at the New York City Launch at Pier 36. BlackBerry launched its comeback effort Wednesday with a revamped platform and a pair of sleek new handsets, along with a company name change as part of a move to reinvent the smartphone maker. Canadian-based Research in Motion said it had changed its name to BlackBerry as it launched the BlackBerry 10, the new platform aimed at helping the firm regain traction in a market now dominated by rivals. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images) TIMOTHY A. CLARY

TORONTO BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins could receive as much as $55.6 million if the company is sold and he is ousted from the top job.

Heins would receive $48 million in equity awards, based on the company's share price at the end of its latest fiscal year, according to a regulatory filing earlier this year. He would also get $7.5 million in compensation for his salary and bonus under the change of control provisions in his contract.

The company would pay $72,000 in benefits and retirement savings.

Heins presided over the debut of two new handsets in January, the Z10 and Q10, which he promised would turn around the fortunes of the company. He also appointed singer Alicia Keys "global creative director."

The phones received mediocre reviews, and have failed to wow customers. Earlier this month, Blackberry announced that a sale was one option that would be considered under a strategic review of the company, which has lost market share to Apple and Android-based phones.

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