CEO John Chen sees himself as the doctor who can cure BlackBerry's ailments

CEO John Chen sees himself as the doctor who can cure BlackBerry's ailments
There are many in the technology sphere who believe that BlackBerry is a terminal patient (or part of the walking dead) at this point; but, new CEO John Chen is (luckily) not one of those people. Perhaps he is just doing his standard CEO duty and trying to make the situation seem less dire than it is, but Chen believes that he is the doctor who can cure BlackBerry's ailments.

In an interview with the newly launched Walt Mossberg/Kara Swisher site Re/code, Chen readily admits that he has taken an incredibly difficult job upon himself. He even openly claims that he is "abnormal" for wanting to be the CEO of BlackBerry rather than going after a "safer, easier job". Chen believes that BlackBerry has a path to success, and he believes it to be the same path that brought the company success the first time around: the enterprise market. 

Unlike recently ousted CEO Thorsten Heins, who seemed to believe that BlackBerry could make a splash in the consumer market with BlackBerry 10, and some celebrity hires, Chen believes that the best way to succeed is to bring BlackBerry back to its roots. It's not a terrible idea, because the enterprise market is still sorting itself out in the wake of BlackBerry's freefall. 

The key to BlackBerry's revitalization may not actually be in smartphones either. Chen has high hopes for the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, which is the server software BlackBerry has created for businesses to be able to manage the devices on its network, including Android and iOS devices as well as old and new BlackBerry handsets. 

Possibly the most telling quote of the whole interview was Chen extending his doctor metaphor by saying, "If you are an emergency room doctor, you should not be afraid of the blood." That alone tells how dire the situation is for BlackBerry.

source: Re/code

FEATURED VIDEO

14 Comments

1. clarkjeferson

Posts: 67; Member since: Dec 22, 2013

Blackberry was always a businessman's phone to begin with. Heins made a bad move trying to make it popular to the common man despite BBM. But glad to know that business is back where it should be.

2. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

Good luck, John. You have a LOT to do.

3. Paximos

Posts: 279; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

"Usually when an engine shows signs of wear to where it's burning oil very badly, you usually notice a definite drop in power and/or fuel economy"...Blackberry is just in that situation and has lost its steam even in the business world when it was once the king of all the smart phones. Unless he is a magician and can pull a rabbit out of his hat which I seen no signs of that and is yet to be seen, it will be a total failure. As sharp as he might be, if bb fails, he won't be the one who gets hurt, he will simply move to another high paying job but for now he will simply defend his strategy. With its world market share of only 2%, Mr. Chen...wish you luck. BTW, where is my refund for my returned bb z10, it's been 31 days since your company's lousy web store has received my phone??

13. eznuel

Posts: 15; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

#YouSuck!

4. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"...bring BlackBerry back to its roots." Chen could start with dumping the current UI. IT shops do not have the power to force users to use a mangled UI. BB sold more BBOS7 handsets than BBOS10 this past year. Time to really focus on where the customers are and what they are willing to spend their $ on. Otherwise, Chen will be the last CEO of BB.

8. alextheZowner

Posts: 33; Member since: Jan 01, 2014

Have you tried their UI? It's a pretty good one. Im.coming from touchwiz an windows and believe me BB10 os by far the best when I get my hands on my girls GS4 I'm constantly swiping thinking it's a BlackBerry 10 and BB by far is faster and less laggy. The reason why BB7 sold more is because people haven't tried BB10 I have tried it and I'm never going back to old buttons and double taps.

15. yodelmonk

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

I agree I just gave up my galaxy s4 for a blackberry q10. I love it. The UI is fantastically efficient and smooth. I gave up 2 cores and I can't even tell. Active frames are great because there are not untold services or processes running in the background gathering who knows what data from my phone. And it is so easy to multitask with a swipe and bam your onto the next app. Battery life is great. I can easily get through a day on 1 charge. I am so happy to have my blackberry keyboard back. There are none like it ...well unless you count the new Typo keyboard...and blackberry does count it. I think going to BB10 from a legacy phone would be much more difficult than coming from android or IOS. It is definitely geared for touch. After a day of using my q10 I never missed my home or back button. I'd say to give it a try. The phones are now cheap and made of high quality materials. Definitely a lot of bang for your buck.

5. docj8404

Posts: 73; Member since: Jan 23, 2013

I won't pretend to be well versed in all things BB, but I do know that, as someone above said, it was geared toward the "corporate enterprise" kind until they attempted to branch out. I've never cared for BB, but it is unfortunate to see how they fell off the grid. What's also playing against them now is the fact that even if they did return to their "basics", they're no longer in a lane of their own as Samsung has branched into their "home" with their own security upgrades. I guess anything can happen though.

6. javac

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 04, 2013

i have already come up with a way for blackberry to make a comeback. they to back off of th consumer market and stick to what they are best at. that is business phones. they need to make their phones work amazing for all businesses. once the recapture the business world then start again in the consumer world

11. Paximos

Posts: 279; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

So dream when the day is through Oh, dream and they might come true Ooh, things could be worse than they seem So come on and dream, dream, oh, dream Yeah, dream, dream, dream, oh, dream

7. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

I applaud this guy's tenacity, but he's still polishing the turd.

9. kennyblack_sd

Posts: 26; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

I still love my BlackBerry Q5 no matter what happens to BlackBerry. I hope Mr Chen turns things around anyway

10. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

I wonder if he fixes this company, if he'll walk down to the ocean and walk on water? Because that's what it's going to take.

14. phonemonkey

Posts: 168; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

I would tell you I was the cure too if I could take several hundred thousand dollars to offer stabs in the dark when everyone in the room knows the company is terminally ill

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.