BlackBerry CEO: We’re in This for the Long Haul
Now that BlackBerry executive chair and interim CEO John Chen has been charged with turning the foundering company around and returning it to its former glory, how does he propose to do it? In part, by embracing the devices that beat BlackBerry into submission in the smartphone market it pioneered. The company is rejiggering its business to succeed in a Bring Your Own Device world.
In a brief open letter on Wednesday, Chen said — as so many of his predecessors have said so many times before — that BlackBerry is working hard to rebuild itself.
“We have begun moving the company to embrace a multi-platform, BYOD world by adopting a new mobility management platform and a new device strategy,” Chen wrote. “We are also leveraging our tremendous assets, including BBM, our network and QNX. While we are proud of these accomplishments, we know there is more work to be done.”
More work, indeed. Particularly now that Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS, not BlackBerry 10, is the leading candidate for the smartphone market’s No. 3 platform. Salvaging BlackBerry is a Sisyphean task, given the company’s recent history, which includes a nearly $1 billion write-down and a handset business some analysts have said is “essentially worthless.”
Chen is obviously well aware of the challenges, though. Certainly, he stands to be well rewarded for overcoming them.
“I know there has been a lot said about BlackBerry, but let me remind you that at BlackBerry, we are not dwelling on the past,” Chen concluded. “We are looking towards the future.”
Given BlackBerry’s history to date, is there really any other option?
Chen’s letter in full, below:
To our BlackBerry Community,
As you know, this is a time of significant change at BlackBerry as we accelerate our efforts to transform our business.
I know there has been a lot said about BlackBerry, but let me remind you that at BlackBerry, we are not dwelling on the past. We are looking towards the future.
We Are Committed to Reclaiming our Success
We have begun moving the company to embrace a multi-platform, BYOD world by adopting a new mobility management platform and a new device strategy. We are also leveraging our tremendous assets, including BBM, our network and QNX. While we are proud of these accomplishments, we know there is more work to be done.
I know that it’s going to take time, discipline and tough decisions to reclaim BlackBerry’s success and we are ready for that challenge.
Our Commitment to our Customers Remains Unchanged
We remain committed to delivering high quality products and services to the millions of people who rely on us globally. We also want our customers to know that BlackBerry has significant financial strength for the long-haul.
I believe in the value of this brand. With the right team and right strategy in place, I am confident that we will rebuild BlackBerry for the benefit of all of our constituencies.
We are Excited for the Future and you Should Be Too
Thank you for your strong support and continued commitment.
John S. Chen
Executive Chair and CEO