BlackBerry CEO Chen says he would sell the handset business if it continues bleeding red ink

BlackBerry CEO Chen says he would sell the handset business if it continues bleeding red ink
If BlackBerry continues to bleed red ink from the handset business, the company's CEO said on Wednesday that he would have no problem jettisoning the operation. In a statement, Chen did say that BlackBerry should be profitable selling as few as 10 million handsets. Back in fiscal 2011, BlackBerry shipped as many as 52.1 million handsets. Last quarter, the company sold 3.4 million handsets (with only 1.1 million of those powered by BlackBerry 10).

Chen said that he is looking at investments for BlackBerry in heavily regulated businesses like financial and legal services, and healthcare. Those industries all need to have private,secure communications, which BlackBerry can provide. Chen states that businesses and governments are more interested in security since Edward Snowden spilled the beans on the NSA.

The CEO also said that an acquisition of a security firm is likely and mentioned that BlackBerry is building an engineering team around security services. Chen did add that he does have a long term strategy for the company, in addition to the short term goal of keeping the company alive. Talking about having to keep BlackBerry treading water, Chen said "You have to live short term. Maybe the prior management had the luxury to bet the world would come to it. I don't have the luxury at all. I'm losing money and burning cash."

According to Chen, BlackBerry will be cash flow positive at the end of the current fiscal year, which ends February 2015. The CEO says that the company will be back in the black at the end of the following fiscal year that ends February 2016.

source: Reuters

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