John Chen discusses his contract extension and his plans for BlackBerry

Yesterday, we told you all about BlackBerry CEO John Chen's five-year contract extension. Now, the executive will be hanging around until 2023 unless another extension is signed before then. At the same time, his benefits package could exceed $300 million depending on how well the stock does over the five year period of the new contract. Should BlackBerry hit $30 (based on a ten-day moving average), the executive's complete stock package immediately vests. Considering that the stock closed today at $12.95, Chen has a long way to go for that to happen.

BlackBerry, in case you don't know, is headquartered in Waterloo, Canada. So it wasn't unusual to find Mr. Chen being interviewed on Canada's Business News Network (BNN) about the contract extension. During the phone interview, Chen said that he is calling this turnaround "Chapter 2.0" for the company, and he noted that many of the things that BlackBerry is succeeding at now are things that the company was known for even before he took over in November 2013 from Thorsten Heins.

Chen says that the company is focused on its security and encryption assets and is applying them to handsets, auto and software. During his interview, BNN showed an interesting graphic. In 2014, software sales made up 3% of revenue while in 2018 it accounted for 70% of revenue. Part of that comes from sales of BlackBerry's version of Android that is sold to company's that license the BlackBerry name for their phones, like TCL.

BlackBerry's CEO made it clear that despite his new contract, he's not about the money. In fact, he pointed out that he's lived in the same house for 25 years. And while John Chen has done an amazing job with BlackBerry, this is not his first rodeo. He turned around Sybase and sold that company to software giant SAP for $5.8 billion back in 2010. Whatever happens from here, the executive has put another notch on his belt.

Check out the BNN interview with John Chen by clicking on the video at the top of the story.

source: BNN via CrackBerry


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