BlackBerry Parts With Global Creative Director Alicia Keys

After a year, the smartphone maker and the singer/songwriter are ending their relationship.

BlackBerry Parts With Global Creative Director Alicia Keys
[Image: Flickr user Walmart Corporate]

Alicia Keys is joining the ranks of thousands of BlackBerry employees leaving the company–well, kind of. The singer/songwriter is parting ways with the smartphone maker less than a year after being named its global creative director–her contract with BlackBerry was for one year from the get-go. She’ll find other ways to keep herself busy, surely.

The goal of her employment, as she put it last year, was to “work closely with the app designers, developers, content creators, the retailers, the carriers to really explore the platform and create ideas for its future.” It’s likely BlackBerry had also hoped Keys’s endorsement could offer the company a much-needed boost as its smartphone market share plummeted. In 2013, the company looked like it was accepting a $4.7 billion offer from Fairfax Financial, but that didn’t go anywhere. Shortly thereafter it replaced its CEO and booted its COO, CMO, and CFO.

The company is now coming off a third quarter loss of $4.4 billion. Keys will officially leave her role on January 30.

About the author

Jessica Hullinger is a London-based journalist who covers science, health, and innovation. She currently serves as a Senior Editor at