BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has just dug itself deeper and deeper into a hole this year, but so far, investors seem to like what new CEO John Chen has in mind to turn things around. Since he took the helm in November, shares have increased almost 31%. So far this year, shares are already up more than 15%, and according to CNN Money, the stock is the best performer in its Tech 30 index.
Chen no longer BlackBerry’s “interim” CEO?
The site noted that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) surreptitiously dropped the word “interim” from Chen’s title at its third quarter earnings report in December. In addition, at CES this week, Chen revealed that they were indefinitely suspending their search for a new CEO.
Chen also provided more details on his plan for the struggling company at CES this week. He again emphasized that they are returning their focus to enterprise customers, which is how they got to start. He also said they would focus on software and services as well as design another QWERTY keyboard for their devices, again, another BlackBerry trademark.
BlackBerry not dwelling on the past
According to Chen, they’re not going to dwell on the past. And the path he has selected for the company seems to be the one analysts and investors have been hoping for. After all, why move away from what you’re good at? And yet, that’s exactly what BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) did in pursuing the consumer market.
Chen also touched on the deal with Foxconn, which will focus their efforts on phones designed for emerging markets. They wanted to shift the inventory risk over to Foxconn. However, not all analysts are sure that this deal will turn out to be a good one for BlackBerry, even though it does reduce some of the company’s inventory risks. The question now will be whether Foxconn is able to design handsets which can compete successfully with Android handsets in emerging markets and also whether the company is able to move them through direct sales—something the company doesn’t have much experience in.