The new CEO has staged a successful turnaround before, with enterprise software and services company Sybase. Chen guided the company into the arms of enterprise software giant SAP in 2010. He also was a senior advisor to private equity firm Silver Lakes which partnered with Michael Dell to take Dell private. Because of this connection he was asked about licensing BlackBerry 10 to Dell, and declined to answer. Although licensing software might be one of the things that BlackBerry will have to do to stay alive, make no mistake about Chen's decision to continue building handsets with the iconic BlackBerry logo on them. He expects the turnaround at BlackBerry to take 6 quarters and says, "I'm doing this for the long term. I am going to rebuild this company."
On Monday, Fairfax Financial pulled the $9 a share provisional buyout offer it had on the table due to lack of financing. Instead, Fairfax will invest $250 million in a $1 billion offering of convertible debt. Fairfax currently is BlackBerry's largest stockholder.
"We did the due diligence ... and our conclusion was that a leveraged buyout with high-yield debt and at high interest rates was not appropriate for this company."-Prem Watsa, CEO, Fairfax Financial