BlackBerry will now seek to raise $1bn in fresh financing with Fairfax contributing $250m in a financing round that is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.
John Chen, the former chief executive of data company Sybase, will take over as interim chief executive until a full time replacement is found for Heins.
Barbara Stymiest, the chair of BlackBerry’s board, said: "I would also like to thank Thorsten for his service to BlackBerry over the past six years.
"Under his leadership, BlackBerry established a more efficient cost structure, developed new products, saw the adoption of BES 10 and delivered the BlackBerry 10 platform. These are all significant accomplishments."
"Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner for their needs."
The latest development in the BlackBerry saga comes as research shows BlackBerry’s market share is continuing to drop in Britain.
Research from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows BlackBerry’s share of the operating system market dropped by 5.4% to 3.1% year on year in the three months to September.