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



1. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2427; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Kind of an awkward interview considering the guy was basically asking questions about John Chen's pay and whether he deserved it or whether he was going to use the money to buy "more mansions". The interviewer was making Chen seem like just another millionaire that is just being compensated so he can buy more stuff instead of emphasizing all the good he's done to deserve such a reward.


Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

This interviewer is no good. He have certain agenda with his type of question, and it was to make John Chen look bad.

8. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1264; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Yes... Media these days....


Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

John Chen is CEO of 2017 and I predict CEO of 2018 in my opinion.

17. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

You have a pretty low standard

5. Jacksie66 unregistered

As an Irishman I must say Happy St Patricks day..

7. dnomadic

Posts: 423; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Know I'm the only one that is hints this but, blackberry should have teamed with Microsoft. I was a windows and Blackberry fan, the combo would have been awesome (for me). Blackberry wouldn't be doing as good in the short term but I think keeping windows phone alive with Nokia (before the Microsoft sell) may have been a long term success.

10. Subie

Posts: 2378; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I can't disagree with you for wanting what you want. But I will disagree with you about that merger being(potentially) a long term success. Don't forget that many other OEMs have tried Windows Mobile as well. It wasn't just Nokia. Blu, Alcatel, HP, LG, and even the mighty Samsung have all had Handsets running Microsoft's OS and none of them turned into a long term success. So while I'd personally like for more OS options like Windows 10 Mobile, or BB10 to stick around longer, - from a business perspective there just isn't enough prospect for a return on investment...

12. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3145; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

It was the blind Nokia fanboy-ism that doomed whatever chances any other OEM had with Windows. To that end, I blame the users themselves.

14. Subie

Posts: 2378; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I'm not sure I follow you here. How is it that Nokia fanboys doomed it for other cellphone OEMs to have success with a Windows OS?

15. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3145; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Because they wouldn't even give the others a look. There's no way any other OEM is as good as Nokia. Only a Nokia can give you a good quality handset. Nokia's going to conquer the mobile world again. If it isn't a Nokia, it ain't sh*t. Anybody considering a Windows Phone for the first time reads those types of comments will surely look someplace else. Never mind the fact that the first (and best) WP7 phones were HTC, LG and Samsung.

9. Venom

Posts: 3674; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I have to give Chen some credit. He was able to turn BlackBerry's fortunes around. Some things he needs work on such as the overpricing of their devices and wanting to use litigation so much.


Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

BlackBerry do not price smartphone hardware. They are not involved with smartphone beyond software. Post link with proof if what you say is true to prove me wrong. BlackBerry use litigation when communication fail. This is documented fact as well. They do not use litigation as much as one certain company involved smartphone.

13. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3145; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

He knows that, he just can't help himself.

22. Venom

Posts: 3674; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Just like you can't help dodging my request for you to elaborate on something you said previously about Blackberry competing in the upper stratosphere by stepping their camera game up?

18. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

BB always overpriced because they value their security. If user don't want to pay the BB tax. They should pick other device. There is lots of other secure device, that as secure as BB that have lower price and better specs. So, need no worry.


Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

Post link to prove a device as secure or more than BlackBerry smartphone. I bet you cannot and will not.

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

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