December 31, 2013
BlackBerry CEO Vows Company Will Be Profitable By 2016
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online
Despite losses of approximately $5 billion over the second and third quarters of this year, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said on Monday that he is confident that the Canadian telecommunications and wireless equipment company still has a future in the industry.
The company, formerly known as Research In Motion (RIM), posted a nearly $1 billion loss in the second quarter and followed that up with losses of more than $4 billion in the third quarter, according to CRN’s Sarah Kuranda. Even so, the man who took over as Blackberry’s CEO just over a month ago believes that the firm can recapture market share and become profitable again by the year 2016.
“I'm not focused on who BlackBerry used to be—I'm focused on what BlackBerry will be today and in the future,” Chen wrote in a CNBC column Monday. “Today, our company is strong financially, technologically savvy and is well-positioned for the future.”
“In less than two months, my team and I have engineered a new strategy to stabilize the company, return to our core strength in enterprise and security, and maximize efficiencies,” he added. “This isn't the first time I've held the reins at a tech company facing challenging circumstances. I'm here to tackle this challenge because I believe we can succeed.”
The company’s success, Chen wrote, will be its presence in the enterprise market. He asserts that the BlackBerry brand is indispensable in big business and government industries that are highly reliant upon mobile security. To illustrate his point, Chen said that his firm is the only mobile device management (MDM) provider that is authorized to operate as part of the US Department of Defense, Kuranda explained.
Furthermore, as Rachel King of ZDNet pointed out, Chen emphasized that BlackBerry has already signed deals with more than 80,000 companies to serve as their MDM providers.
He added that the company would be working hard to expand its international presence, bolstered largely by their new five-year strategic partnership with Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer Foxconn.
“Less than two months into the job, the interim chief talked up his ‘talented team of industry leaders’ and insisted that the company remains the leader in mobile-device management, adding that the BBM messaging service is the most secure among its kind,” PCMag reporter Stephanie Mlot said. “The cross-platform BlackBerry Messenger launch, however, has not enjoyed such praise.”
Unofficial versions of both the Android and iOS BlackBerry Messenger apps leaked online in September, forcing the company to disable the Android version of the software and delaying the official launch of both. Currently, each is available for download at no cost in the Google Play and Apple App Store, respectively, she noted.
“Chen promised a continued investment in the application, with more features and channels added in the coming years,” Mlot added. “But messaging is only one piece of the broader puzzle, which includes core priorities like enterprise services, the QNX embedded business, and the long-standing device business.”
The road ahead for BlackBerry will not be an easy one, but the firm does have more than $3 billion in cash reserves available to them. Furthermore, Chen said that the company has “a renewed spirit” and “a clear lane ahead of us to create new trails as a nimbler, more agile competitor. The journey has just begun.”