Will BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Survive?

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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s new interim CEO Chen is not behaving like an interim CEO, in Jefferies view, and is dramatically altering the company. The most likely read-throughs are removal of a management layer and moving the hardware into a much deemphasized enterprise niche. Due to the rapidly deteriorating legacy services business and rescaling of the hardware business, analysts thought BlackBerry needed an additional round of cost cuts but see continued uncertainty for the overall business.

James Yersh is the new CFO of BlackBerry

James Yersh was appointed as BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Yersh has been with BlackBerry since 2008 and was most recently SVP Controller and Head of Compliance. Brian Bidulka had been with BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) for eight years and had served as CFO since 2009. Mr. Bidulka will remain with the company for the remainder of the fiscal year and serve as a special advisor assisting with the transition.

BlackBerry’s COO and CMO leaving the company

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) Chief Operating Officer Kristian Tear and Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben will leave the company as part of “on-going reorganization.” Mr. Tear was hired in May 2012 and was previously a Sony Ericsson executive. Mr. Boulben was also hired in May 2012 and came from LightSquared via Vodafone and Orange.

The uncertainty

BlackBerry’s New interim-CEO John Chen (who analysts at Jefferies think did an excellent job at Sybase) is targeting a six-quarter turnaround with cash stabilizing in 3-4 quarters. Analysts believe that the strategic review froze most of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s business since August. With the continued uncertainty regarding the company’s longevity and leadership, analysts think that the ongoing business will continue to be significantly impaired.

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Sheeraz Raza
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