Almost a year ago, BlackBerry announced that it was appointing Grammy Award winning singer Alicia Keys as its global creative director. Keys’ job with the company was to help build its influence in the consumer market, though she also spent some of her time at BlackBerry helping to attract women into roles inside of technology in general. Now, however, BlackBerry says Alicia Keys will cut ties with the company.
Starting on Jan. 30, a year to the day she started her role, Alicia Keys will no longer work for the firm. “We have enjoyed the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented and passionate individual,” BlackBerry told CTV News. The company did not say why it decided to part ways with Keys, though part of its restructuring involves cost cutting measures. Additionally, BlackBerry is refocusing on software and services, including putting more emphasis on enterprise growth. Keys was more a consumer-facing celebrity at BlackBerry and she was introduced in her new role alongside the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10, two devices that failed to gain consumer traction around the globe.
It’s unclear exactly what Keys did for the company during the past year, though CTV News said that she did indeed work on a “four-year scholarship program that encouraged young women to enter specific science and technology fields.” Whether or not she ever did anything that helped BlackBerry as a company is still up for debate, however.