BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) CEO John Chen To Stick Around For Awhile


BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO John Chen has apparently dropped the “interim” part of his title. That happened subtly in the company’s recent earnings report and again at CES this week. Chen, whose turnaround efforts have so far been met with positive sentiment, said he would stay with BlackBerry for some time.

Chen to remain at BlackBerry through transformation

The New York Times reports that Chen has said at least twice now that he would stay on as CEO at BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) until the company is on “solid financial footing.” He also said that they were temporarily suspending the search for the next CEO.

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Since Chen arrived after BlackBerry fired former CEO Thorstein Heins, he has shaken up the C-suite at the company. He replaced several other top executives at the company and also made a deal with Foxconn to shift the design and risk of making low-cost handsets for emerging markets over to Foxconn.

Chen seen as a turnaround master

The reason BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) investors and analysts are so excited that Chen will be sticking around is because of his expertise as a turnaround expert. He was previously chairman at Sybase, which he is credited with turning around and then selling to German software maker SAP. In addition to his turnaround experience, analysts also like his experience in corporate mobile solutions and also his ability to bring fresh talent to the companies he works with.

Of course there is still much that we don’t know about what the future holds for BlackBerry. Some analysts are skeptical that Foxconn will be able to help BlackBerry design and sell handsets through its channels, mainly because they don’t know what kinds of designs Foxconn will come up with. Also Foxconn has little, if any experience in direct sales. The suggestions that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) should dump its handsets division continue as well, as some suggest that the company’s real future should be as an open mobile platform for enterprises which can also support Apple and Android devices.