Print 21 comment(s) - last by lyeoh.. on May 31 at 3:15 PM

When it comes to Blackberry, there’s honesty… and then there’s CEO John Chen

You would have to be living under a rock to not know that over the past seven years BlackBerry has gone from smartphone industry leader to also-ran. What once was a promising company that was at the forefront of the smartphone craze has been relegated to a company peddling hardware that no one wants.
Speaking at the Code Conference yesterday, Walt Mossberg asked CEO John Chen if BlackBerry could survive without a viable handset business — the company’s current smartphone market share is below one percent and IDC is projecting that it would be at zero percent by 2018. Chen responded that he could still “create a lot of value for shareholder even without the handset business.”

An excerpt from Re/code's interview with BlackBerry CEO John Chen
But Chen still feels that there is a chance to actually gain market share in the smartphone business. How the company plans to do that given the spotty track record of its BlackBerry 10 devices remains to be seen, as Chen talked rather vaguely about his plans for smartphones. When asked about the possibility of making Android handsets — given that BB10 devices can already run Android apps — Chen admitted that “if there’s enough money on the table, that we may do something about that.”
Chen even acknowledged that the state of BlackBerry’s handset business was far worse than he was led to believe before joining the company as CEO. However, Chen is “quite confident that we’ll be able to save the patient.” Chen added, “We have a lot of problems, but it’s not dead.”
As to whether he’s qualified to “save the patient,” Chen was quite blunt assessing his capabilities as CEO:

At least he's honest...

Source: Re/code

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Famous Last Words
By Flunk on 5/29/2014 9:29:55 AM , Rating: 3
If you have to constantly re-assure the public that "We're Not Dead Yet". There's a pretty good chance that you are.

RE: Famous Last Words
By retrospooty on 5/29/2014 9:52:06 AM , Rating: 2
That and "yet" is a very interesting word to use in that statement. LOL

RE: Famous Last Words
By bug77 on 5/29/2014 10:22:18 AM , Rating: 2
Chen did not say "yet", Flunk added that.

But there's always a ray of hope when a company lies to his CEO-to-be in order to determine him to join.

RE: Famous Last Words
By retrospooty on 5/29/2014 10:29:17 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I am pretty sure the articles title said that earlier and was edited later, but yes, that isn't what he said.

I do like his directness... “We have a lot of problems, but it’s not dead.”

Too bad they waited too long to get rid of the dead weight that killed the company by being in denial for many years too long (Lazardis and Balsilie)... Someone realistic and open minded like Chen could have possibly saved it if he had the reigns earlier.

RE: Famous Last Words
By Brandon Hill on 5/29/2014 10:30:33 AM , Rating: 2
Flunk did not add that; it was in the original title as a reference to Mighty Python. I updated the title to reflect the actual quote.

RE: Famous Last Words
By bug77 on 5/29/2014 10:37:09 AM , Rating: 2
Who's Mighty Python? The programming language? A really long snake?
Stop posting before you've had a chance to finish your morning coffee, dude ;-)

RE: Famous Last Words
By Brandon Hill on 5/29/2014 10:45:01 AM , Rating: 2
Brandon, go home. You're drunk.

RE: Famous Last Words
By Mitch101 on 5/29/2014 1:37:58 PM , Rating: 2
Or maybe your a WITCH! BURN HIM! BURN HIM!

Bring out yer dead

RE: Famous Last Words
By drycrust3 on 5/29/2014 3:01:16 PM , Rating: 2
I believe the exact opposite is the case: If a company lies to their CEO or CEO to be then that person can't make the right decisions.

RE: Famous Last Words
By Hammer1024 on 5/29/2014 1:53:57 PM , Rating: 2
Paging Mr. Graham Chapman to the red courtesy phone... Mr. Chapman to the red courtesy phone please.

RE: Famous Last Words
By retrospooty on 5/29/2014 9:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
I just noticed something. Even the usual group od die hard Blackberry fans that always defend them have all stopped. That is a sad statement. When your die hard denial crew gives up, its over. Blackberry will never get back anything more than a niche enterprise market that will keep shrinking until closed or sold.

RE: Famous Last Words
By lyeoh on 5/31/2014 3:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
They may not be dead, but I think they would be a better candidate for the "Terminal" campaign than Samsung ;).

Terminal Blackberry seems more appropriate than Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5 unless Samsung is dropping us a hint...

By melgross on 5/29/2014 11:06:39 AM , Rating: 2
This is the first honest thing Chen has said. Remember that he reportably received $83 million to take the post. That's a lot of money for someone to get as CEO when first hired. But the part I don't like about it is that he's receiving it up front.

If he really believed he could save the company, or at least, save it in any form or size that would really matter, one would think that he would have accepted less up front in exchange for stock. That's more usual, a good bonus in cash, plus stock and options for more.

RE: Qualified?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/29/2014 11:38:14 AM , Rating: 3
Wouldn't YOU want to be paid upfront?

You inherit a wrecked burned-out husk of a company. Even if you do your job PERFECT, there's little chance of you restoring their former glory.

Your entire reputation will be based on your performance, even if there's NOTHING you can personally do to save Blackberry or even make them solvent, you'll be judged by what happens to the company.

As far as CEO jobs go, this is about as high-risk as it gets. Also what makes you think he was hired to "save the company" or that he's required to believe he can do such a thing?

I don't care who was made CEO at this point, it would take a goddamn miracle of BIBLICAL proportions to save Blackberry. And even if he came up with a plan to do so, they lost the necessary capital to execute that plan LONG before he took the reigns.

But I know, it's Daily Tech, bla bla bla hate all corporations, bla bla bla CEO's suck and are overpaid, bla bla bla death to the 1%.

RE: Qualified?
By bug77 on 5/29/2014 11:43:38 AM , Rating: 2
I bet HE would like to be paid upfront, but this is not about HIM :-D

RE: Qualified?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/29/2014 12:00:09 PM , Rating: 3
Well yes it is. He negotiated his pay situation with another party, and they came to an mutual agreement.

Frankly it's none of our business.

RE: Qualified?
By bug77 on 5/29/2014 12:38:45 PM , Rating: 2
* HE = melgross

RE: Qualified?
By Reclaimer77 on 5/29/2014 1:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
lol oh, oops. Yeah I hear ya :)

By atechfan on 5/29/2014 1:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
Their future lies in QNX in embedded systems. I think it is too late to salvage their phone business.

By flyingpants1 on 5/29/2014 6:26:33 PM , Rating: 2
God that was painful to watch. He's really on the defense here.
"Yes, we can still make money."
"Someone can hack into your house."
"It's not that nobody else knows how to do it.."
"Is there any soul here?"

John.. What are you doing?

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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