Former BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins may be out of job again. Heins, who was ousted from the Canadian smartphone maker, has been running wireless charging firm Powermat, but the company has been locked in a battle between factions on its board of directors. Heins has been accused of overspending, lacking strategic vision and not getting any proper deals signed.
One more failed story for Heins, apart from BlackBerry
Heins, who started working with Powermat in late 2014, will be out of this job too if a mediated settlement is approved, according to court documents. Heins, other executives and several board members would leave Powermat as part of the settlement. Another condition is the charging firm arranging $10 million in new loans. The Jerusalem Post was the first to report the news of Heins’ departure from Powermat and details of the mediated settlement. No representative from the charging firm had commented on the news yet.
Heins is best known for his failed attempt to turn around BlackBerry. The directors who sued Heins and Powermat were distressed about the company’s spending levels and claimed that Heins was operating with a budget that was not approved by the other members, reported the Jerusalem Post.
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Powermat under complete restructuring
The former BlackBerry CEO will likely have to leave Powermat because of a lawsuit filed by three board members, including founder and former CEO and chairman Ran Poliakine, against the Neveh Ilan-based company and Heins in October.
The sides filed a mediation case in the Tel Aviv District Court mirroring an agreement that includes several clauses: Heins will leave his position; a CEO search committee will assemble; the board will restructure; and investors, including Goldman Sachs, will invest an addition $10 million into the charging firm in the form of bridge loans. Also the new board will not have nine directors but seven and be composed of two nominees from the owners, two from investors, and three independent members.
Powermat is known for making the wireless charging gear used at Starbucks. The adoption of wireless charging has not taken off because of cut-throat competition. The company announced several achievements recently. It racked up 150 million minutes of wireless charging and declared that Samsung will embed its wireless charging technology directly into its Galaxy S6 and future phones.
Update: In a press release today, Powermat said it has responded to court filing and to various statements made to the press by Poliakine. The mediation materials have been rendered “null and void” as all parties did not sign it. And, Heins and his management team continue to have the support of a majority of the company’s board of directors.