‘When It’s All Over’: Alicia Keys’ Last Day With BlackBerry Will Be January 30

January 2, 2014  |  

Looks like the fire between Alicia Keys and BlackBerry has gone out. The ailing mobile company has reported to the Canadian news outlet CBC (remember, BlackBerry is a Canadian company) that Alicia Keys will no longer be the company’s global creative director come January 30. That will be one year to the day from when it was announced that she would be filling the post.

From the beginning, it was clear that her role with the company was really meant to be a way to bring in a big-name celebrity endorsement. But after the hype around the announcement died down, it was hard to pinpoint what exactly Keys was doing for the company, besides some Powerpoint presentations. Though CBC says she showed up at some promotional events and appeared on some marketing materials.

The company is now focused on the “enterprise market” and corporate users after a year pockmarked with bad news. BlackBerry had sought a buyer, but that didn’t come through. Just a couple of weeks ago, the company announced another dismal quarterly report, with sales falling 56 percent and a $4.4 billion loss for the period ending in November. Interim CEO John Chen maintains that the foundation is there for a comeback.

The blog Motley Fool agrees that the company could experience a turnaround because of things like a restructuring and a partnership with Chinese manufacturer Foxconn, which is best known for making Apple devices. (And employee suicides, but that’s another story.)

Back to the topic of Alicia Keys, the partnership always seemed to be a little off. We don’t really know Keys to be particularly tech savvy or a notable social media player. Which isn’t a shortcoming for her, just a reminder that when you pick a spokesperson, it should be someone who has a connection with the product or the brand they’ll be representing. On the other hand, her music (“Girl on Fire” still haunts our dreams) and her philanthropic work is well known. So perhaps she’ll move on to things more closely tied to the interests that she’s more known for.

Either way, she’s got a soundtrack for her departure.

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