BlackBerry Ltd Won’t Chase Sensationalism: John Chen

BlackBerry Ltd Won’t Chase Sensationalism: John Chen
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BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO John Chen has reiterated that he cannot and will not run after sensationalism to turn the company around. Chen said he is happy Kim Kardashian West is rarely away from her BlackBerry and that he is moving forward with his plan of bringing the company’s products to China.

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Consumer space not the core business

However, the CEO stated that his core mission will be the development of secure software for its enterprise business. “There is always the temptation to make statements that feed sensationalism, or make executive decisions that chase hype and trends,” Chen posted to his LinkedIn (LNKD, Tech30) blog.

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Chen believes the company cannot thrive by making the consumer space its core business, despite a good response for the Passport, support from Kardashian and customers awaiting the BlackBerry Classic. Only last month, Kardashian said her BlackBerry is her “heart and soul,” saying she maintains backups in case of emergency.

Also Chen denied any possibility of selling the company to China-based computer maker Lenovo. He said that for expanding in China, the company is framing a well-thought plan, taking all factors into consideration, like timing and long-term strategy. He said the plan will not be pushed forward merely on excitement or dropped because of security concerns. Chen also said there will be no “takeover.”

BlackBerry CEO focuses on long-term

“As thrilling as riding the hype or letting the crowd dictate my tactics may feel in the short run, it will hurt in the long run,” he wrote. He said it is important to build trust and set out priorities very clearly, adding that the right decision at the wrong time is still the wrong decision. Irrespective of the situation, this philosophy should serve the company and employees well, Chen said

The success of Chen’s strategy pretty much depends on the success of the company’s products and public acceptance. There have been mixed reactions to the Passport, and the BlackBerry Classic is being awaited eagerly by fans. Since Chen become BlackBerry’s CEO in November 2013, the stock has spiked by over 45%. With his reputation of being a turnaround genius, Chen joined the company to revive it from its lows. He is focusing primarily on the long term.

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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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