By Nick Summers
BlackBerry CEO John Chen argued today that the Canadian smartphone manufacturer is still innovative, financially stable and “well-positioned for the future”. In an open-editorial penned for CNBC, Chen admitted that BlackBerry now faced “challenging circumstances”, but believed that it was still possible to turn the struggling business around.
The company posted a troubling $4.4 billion loss for its third-quarter results recently, but also announced a new manufacturing deal with Foxconn, which will see it develop new devices aimed at developing markets such as Indonesia.
At the same time, a number of high-profile executives have left BlackBerry, including Chief Operating Officer Kristian Tear and Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben. BlackBerry’s Chief Financial Officer Brian Bidulka was replaced last month by James Yersh, although Bidulka will be staying on as a special adviser for Chen until the end of the current financial year.
“It was important to make swift and impactful changes to ensure that our customers’ investments in BlackBerry’s infrastructure and solutions are secure,” Chen said in his CNBC column.
The new chief executive emphasized that BlackBerry is still popular with enterprise customers, and said the company will continue to focus on that side of its business alongside messaging, devices and its QNX Embedded offerings moving forward. He added that BlackBerry was “positioned for the long haul” and would become a nimbler, more agile competitor as a result of these sweeping changes.
“The journey has just begun,” Chen said.
It’s a long road back for BlackBerry, but the company’s new CEO is at least showing some vision and gusto in the face of adversity.
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