BlackBerry's John Chen is runner-up to Apple's Tim Cook for CNN's CEO of the Year

BlackBerry's John Chen is runner-up to Apple's Tim Cook for CNN's CEO of the Year
CNN recently named Apple's Tim Cook as its CEO of the Year. Considering Apple's valuation, that may not come as much of a surprise to many. But what might make readers' eyes open wide is the name of the executive that finished second to Cook; that was BlackBerry CEO John Chen. Last year at this time, most people felt that BlackBerry was set to kick the bucket and remain an icon of the past. 

But John Chen has turned things around. He launched a business-centric smartphone, the BlackBerry Passport, that allows users to more easily read spreadsheets, emails and other reports using the wide 4.5-inch 1440 x 1440 resolution screen. He also gave a nod to BlackBerry's past by releasing the BlackBerry Classic with its trackpad, and old-school function keys. Chen has also started monetizing the BBM messaging app, which now has 91 million subscribers from iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. An update to the app earlier this year added the BBM Store, which sells BlackBerry Stickers for use on messages.

BlackBerry's shares rose an impressive 35% this year, and the company's survival is no longer in question. Chen himself now says that he is 99% sure that the company he runs, will survive. The CEO has a history of successfully turning around a company headed for the grave. He took over a failing Sybase, spiffed it up, and sold it to SAP for $5.8 billion dollars. Chen might not be interested in selling off BlackBerry, but he has done quite a job keeping the company alive and relevant.

source: CNN via BGR

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79 Comments

1. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Stephen Elop should be CEO of the year...

7. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

He's not a CEO, it should be Natya Sadella.

9. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

*Satya Nadella

12. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Livinitupunderarock. Sarcasm...right over your head. Elop WAS a CEO, and for good reason will probably never have that on his resume again.

14. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3098; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I got an idea. Let's have Elop be co-CEO of Apple with Leo Apotheker. I'd give it 6 months before they're in Chapter 7 liquidation.

31. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Silly Rabbit I recognized that it was sarcasm but it was as funny as watching paint dry. He WAS a CEO, not anymore. Nokia D&S has been sold for quite a while now, give it a rest.

63. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Not long enough. I will only give it a rest when Nokia return from the Ashes that Elop has burnt to the ground. More and more likely now. Good!

22. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

Elop is the flop of the year... Btw chen deserves first place... Tim cook didn't turn things around he just maintained what they had in first place....

45. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

*Flop

57. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

I see that you're happy.

61. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

I think Chen should have beaten Cook. Cook adopted a platform that printed money on auto pilot and adopted some screen sizes that people wanted, big whoop. Chen actually prevented Blackberry from going into Chapter 11, which it would have surely did by now if Heins or the doofus twins that founded the company were still running it. That's no small task.

2. Arsen

Posts: 32; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

The funny thing is that No one is buying blackberry nowadays. And blackberry passport selling for like 700-800usd ?! Seriously?! It looks premium but come on Blackberry OS is boring. It is like your company is going for bankruptcy and no one is buying your products but suddenly you release a phone with a little bit of marketing and put a freaking price tag of 700-800usd?! Blackberry should have lower their price tag since their company is dying. I love blackberry but it is slowly dying =(

6. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Note 4 rapes Passport and it costs roughly the same. I don't really get the excitement over a physical keyboard. Just a waste of space. People prefer to have bigger screens.

26. Manti123

Posts: 207; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

And the Passport turned to be epic fail. Even the initial selling number of 200k unit was a clear lie.

29. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

Prove it.

40. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

In BB CEO words.... UP TO 200K WILL BE Keyword: up to & will be.

49. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

John Chen said they sold 200k passports. He said nothing about "up to and will be".

32. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2293; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

iPhone 6 beats the Note 4 and it's roughly the same price as well. I don't really get the excitement over a 5.7 inch screen. People prefer 4-5 inch screen sizes. See how opinionated those sentences sound? It could be based on some facts such as sales, but you would still be upset that it was said because it's based more on opinion than fact. The reality is that there are people out there that would prefer a physical keyboard over a virtual one. The other reality is that the Passport, like the Note, is marketed at a certain audience. The audience the Note 4 attracts is not the same market that attracts the iPhone 6 or the Passport. They are all different audiences and that's what makes each of them successful in their own regard. Also, I would say the 4.5 inch 1:1 screen of the Passport would constitute a large screen for people. It has the same screen real estate as a 5 inch device.

15. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3098; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Did you bother reading the article or were there too many big words like "the".

24. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

Definitely too many big words like "the" for him.

56. huhblub

Posts: 25; Member since: Apr 18, 2014

Yours is the word *too*.

69. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

If you're saying that, then you clearly don't know how to use the correct "too" in a sentence.

17. tatail

Posts: 261; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

Just to let you know Passport doesn't run BlackBerry OS or to be specific BlackBerry discontinued BlackBerry OS all their new devices run BlackBerry 10 which is a beautiful, slick and clean OS. Their is a big difference between BB10 and BB OS as much as Lollipop and Android 1.6 (Donut). Maybe you need to do a little research on that.

27. Manti123

Posts: 207; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

He meant BlackBerry Operating System, whether for the legacy devices or BB10

19. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Err unlocked BB Passport going for 550 on amazon, and I think the base unlocked is around 600 USD where you getting 700-800?

62. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

out of his butt. I think the MSRP is 599 or something like that, which is less than the major Flagships like the Iphone 6 or Galaxy S5.

25. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

You clearly do not know anything about BB10 if you're calling it BBOS. HUGE differences between the two. You don't even have the correct price for the Passport listed in your comment. Research much?

35. NFSHesham

Posts: 297; Member since: Feb 04, 2014

700-800$!? It is more like 550$ Plus it's NOT TARGETED FOR Multimedia consumers and Heavy gamers It is more about handling business And this can do a hell of a lot more than android or iOS in this department It is NOT about the number of apps or how much FPS this will get on Mortal combat 5 for example This is about dealing with business and this is not one of androids or iPhones strongest poins

59. DerryAhmad

Posts: 296; Member since: May 05, 2012

It cost around USD 700 in Indonesia. Much more expensive than US price. I really like the OS. The only let down for BB at the moment is the lack BB10-optimized-apps.

3. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

For what? BB is still in deep kaka.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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