BlackBerry Ltd CEO: “I’m In It For The Long Haul”

BlackBerry Ltd CEO: “I’m In It For The Long Haul”
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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO John Chen once again promoted his turnaround plans, saying that he is in it for the “long haul.” On Monday, Chen posted on LinkedIn that when he joined BlackBerry there were some major challenges, but he went on to develop a culture by focusing on turning things around and finding solutions rather than focusing on problems.

BlackBerry outlook improving

Chen posted that the cost that surged two-fold was pulled down to narrow the losses and support profits. The CEO of the Canadian smartphone company noted, “We still have a few water buckets on hand. But no one is cooking our funeral dinner on the flames, because we took action.”

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John Chen entered BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) as executive chairman last year in November under a larger plan designed by shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. As per the plan the company was helped with a $1 billion in cash from the sale of convertible debentures. Fairfax shelved its plans to take the company private for $4.7 billion.

Chen is known for his extraordinary turnaround savvy, and he has already proved his mettle by turning around enterprise technology company Sybase Inc and then selling it to SAP AG for $5.8 billion in 2010. The outlook of BlackBerry has also improved since Chen became the CEO, with latest quarterly numbers coming in better than expected. Revenue was, however, below estimates, which made analysts cautious.

Experts agree with Chen’s strategies

The BlackBerry CEO has taken some quick and solid steps over the past year such as outsourcing its production to Foxconn and re-launching QWERTY keypad devices such Passport. Chen is determined and is eying long-term strategies rather than identifying the right or perfect solution for every problem. He believes that careful implementation and hard work will outperform any individual poor decision over the long-term.

Glenn Rowe, the Paul MacPherson Chair in Strategic Leadership at Western University’s Ivey Business School, said that Chen is known for helping a company get out of a difficult situation. Rowe, who agrees with Chen’s tactics of encouraging employees to take risks and tackle problems, believes good CEOs are the one who create a problem-solving culture.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at
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