Apparently Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley might make a bid at BlackBerry

John Sculley
By Kevin Michaluk on 23 Oct 2013 11:20 pm EDT
9
loading...
0
loading...
92
loading...

The plot thickens. Honestly, I'm about ready to start seriously 'exploring making a bid at BlackBerry' just so I can get my name into a headline in The Globe and Mail or Bloomberg or Reuters. Today the Globe and Mail reported that Apple's former CEO John Sculley is exploring a bid at BlackBerry with Canadian partners. 

Earlier this month, Sculley was making the media rounds and had some not so bad things to say about BlackBerry, which we reported on at that time.

Today he told The Globe:

“The only thing I would say is, I think there’s a lot of future value in Blackberry,” Mr. Sculley said, “but without experienced people who have run this type of business, and without a strategic plan, it would be really challenging ... Whoever buys it would have to have a strategic plan that was credible and could succeed, and they would want to have an experienced team that would be able to implement that plan.”

Sculley was at the Helm of Apple when Steve Jobs was famously fired by the board (the two of them didn't get along so well). This all has the makings of an excellent movie plot. Embarrassed CEO buys the competitor battered down by his former employer to take it back to the top and crush the success gained by his replacement. Or something like that.

Check out our BBRY page for everything going on with BlackBerry, the company. There's a lot ot keep up on. The next big "date" on the horizon is November 4th, which is when we'll find out if the Prem Watsa / Fairfax Financial deal has legs.

Topics: BBRY Editorial

Reader comments

Apparently Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley might make a bid at BlackBerry

182 Comments

Don't know much about his history at Apple. Will Google it later. But if he likes marketing that's a good start.

According to the wikipedia article he was quite successful in the beginning. "Sales at Apple increased from $800 million to $8 billion under Sculley's management"
But he had a completely different vision for the company compared to Steve Jobs which made him resign. That said, this guy doesn't sound bad at all.

Sculley was the CEO of Apple, not the owner. What are we talking about here?

Does BlackBerry need to upgrade it's shareholders? Would changing the OWNERSHIP from public shareholders to Sculley (and his partners) help BlackBerry? Or are we talking about changing MANAGEMENT? If it's the later then there is no need to sell the company if your goal is just to change the board and/or executives/management.

If bringing in new management is indeed the best solution then why shouldn't existing shareholders benefit from that? Instead of selling out why wouldn't existing shareholders bring in? If Sculley really believes in BlackBerry, and if it is even slightly plausible he could drive half the type of growth he oversaw at Apple, then there is a lot of room for a win-win arrangement between existing owners and Sculley as an employee (i.e. CEO). There is certainly no need to sell the company and no need for existing shareholders to miss out on the bright future.

I did some reading, and although the genius behind the Macintosh came from Jobs, what made it revolutionary was the way it was marketed, which is what Mr. Sculley is known for. Blackberry has a fantastic foundation in BB10 for the coming years, especially with the new and emerging trend of M2M technology. However, without the proper marketing to make BlackBerry 10 a desirable and innovative 'idea', the brand will fall and I bet the software innovations and patents will be snatched up by Apple, Samsung, and Nokia. I think that Sculley, as well as Fairfax, see the potential in this OS for a much broader long term strategy, and are hoping to cash in on it! Good luck to them.

Oooooo Dat Z10 seseee

If he got Jobs fired, he must not know much about marketing at all.

Steve Jobs was all the marketing Apple ever needed.

"In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas."

Under him revenue went from 800 million to 8 billion in the 90s. It was after he left things started to tank for Apple and it was the ipod that saved then. He also stated the Pepsi challenge marketing campaign.

Posted from my Z10

Never knew that, that is quite impressive

The Final Destination - Providing The Latest In Urban & Hip-Hop Fashion - Clothing|Tobacconist|Tattoos - C00016D82

He also only has a net worth of 200 million, I wonder where he'd get the money.

The Final Destination - Providing The Latest In Urban & Hip-Hop Fashion - Clothing|Tobacconist|Tattoos - C00016D82

If you think of it like asking for money to fund a movie, it's a lot easier if you have a good script and cast lined up.

Posted via CB10

Jobs saved apple with the ipod. Had it not been for that, apple would no longer exist. Scully is a fantastic choice.

From RIM950 to z10: I'm an original RIM user.

Jobs did not save apple with the iPod that is not true it was the iMac. Blueberry, strawberry, grape...hello anyone? sure we can make that argument later the first iPod was fire wire only and released in 2001. The iMac came out in 1997.

Posted via CB10

or better yet, why don't CrackBerry Kevin find some investors, buy BlackBerry and change it to CrackBerry. lolz.

Exactly. And I think Lazaridis needs to stay far from blackberry. Sculley is a fixer.

From RIM950 to z10: I'm an original RIM user.

Agreed. I would like to see both BB10 and WP8 take off. There needs to be more than 2 operating systems. I would also like to see a little more customization in the small areas of BB10.

Ah so it is a Crackberry issue. Lol. I thought it was the app and uninstalled and reinstalled several times.

Posted via CB10

Oh, so actual soon. NOT 8 months from now soon? I wonder what that's like?

I'm just kidding. CB better be back real soon!!!!

If he brings the Apple marketing team in and keeps the company as business as usual minus most of the executive team and existing marketing department then I'm all for it. If he's planning on gutting it then hell no.

CB10 - Z10 -10.2.0.1725

I agree get rid of the marketing department starting with Frank. BlackBerry s marketing is still as bad as before

Are all the CB contributors going to get manga drawings of themselves for their bylines, or only the big dog?

Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change BlackBerry?

This movie is getting much more exciting... I gotta get my couch and pop corn ready 'cause something interesting is about to happen...

Proudly Z10 owner...

More and more it's looking like BlackBerry isn't the lame duck media outlets have laboured hard to make it out to be.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z30

You're basing that on stories reported by the same evil media, though, right? It's easy to write a story in the newspaper saying so-and-so might be interested, but the people with their money on the line still don't seem convinced that even the FairFax $9 deal is going to go through. We need to see somebody else make an actual offer.

This sounds like a plan. The current management of BB do not have a plan. I have argued that BB needs to raid Apple for management and design folks to move forward. I still have a BB 9650. The browser is slow as hell. The OS on Q10 is horrible. Blackberry is dead!

Barney009: I have been meaning to respond. I have a right to voice my opinion. If you do not like my opinion, why don't you move on. Check your GPS and get directions to HELL.

Seriously, what makes BB10 so horrible? What? Is it because there's no BIS or trackpad? Pffft, boy please. Get over yourself. BB10 is BlackBerry moving forward. Out with the old, in with the new. Even though BB10 is still young it's miles ahead of BBOS 5,6, and 7 combined.

Posted via CB10

Sounds like he wants to assemble funds for a bid, help with the strategic plan and assemble the leadership team. Doesn't say anything about him wanting to run the company.

Posted via CB10

I read his biography a while back. Interesting. He is pretty full of himself.

He was with Pepsi before apple and he did some good things there.

He brought pepsi to par with Coke back in the late 70s and early 80s before going to apple.

I believe he was behind the Cola Wars.

Posted via CB10

Well, I just hope whoever the new owner is doesn't decide to make BlackBerry a fashion and premium brand like Apple.

Posted via keyboard bearing Q10

It is indeed becoming a charade... everyone thinking bidding. but no one shows their cards yet. except for Prem.. like I said someone will come at the 11th hour and bid big or go home.. or blackberry might hold their bluff and say FU this is going to be good

Thanks for reporting this. What makes you think John is putting together a bid? Is it just the comments quoted above? I thought he was a little harsh on Thor and the current executive team, but I'm not sure that amounted to a desire to bid himself.

Apple had a huge iconic hit in the iPod, which turned a crappy company into a decent one. Today, the bulk of people working with the Web stack are on OSX. And iOS devices just can't seem to lose. But most of that happened under Jobs. Scully was captain of the old dead-end pre-Darwin, Macintosh. I think his real success was at Pepsi.

Posted via CB10

Hmmm.

X CB followers
multiplied by
Y equal share investment
=
Kevin and CB Nation own BlackBerry!!

Subscribe to Tri County Catering and Party Idea Channel. Pin #C00123065

Blackberry has to become relevant again... they kinda accomplish it releasing BBM4ALL, lets see if it sticks

Well,well. If course BlackBerry needs a strategy. It seems to have one. Execution has been the problem. All said, with 10.2 out, now four excellent phones, BBM etc, and perhaps more calm on ownership coming their way, Christmas holds some potential for BlackBerry. Now is the time for all marketing men and women to come to the aid of the party. This year can still be come back year?

Posted via CB10

Trying to load up this article in the Globe and Mail app... been waiting 3 minutes so far... urghhh horrible app performance.

I support BB10, NOT BB Management!

“but without experienced people who have run this type of business, and without a strategic plan, it would be really challenging ... Whoever buys it would have to have a strategic plan that was credible and could succeed, and they would want to have an experienced team that would be able to implement that plan.”

Maybe it's the way the quote was edited, but is it me or is he stating the ridiculously obvious above for any company - and therefore,really saying nothing?

The whole deal with the bid offers are really interesting and we need to keep our eyes peel to the latest news

Posted via CB10

My guess are the co-founders Mike and Dave, for the equity stake and experience, plus a few Canadian pension funds to keep the majority ownership Canadian to avoid government review.

not saying it's plausable, but i kiiinda really really like this idea for some reason...

I've already been thinking Lazaridis has had enough time on the sidelines, to come back with vision and be better than ever (a la Derrick Rose)... let him handle the operations, then add this guy with a little of the Apple/Pepsi magic for flair and the grandiose on the marketing side.... might be just what BlackBerry needs.

Damn the plot does indeed thicken...

Also nice to see you back on the Blog-front CBK, aka CrackBerry Kevin.

"I love blackberry pie, its just so d*mn good" --William Shatner

"This just in: Canadian legend William Shatner to make a bid on BlackBerry and take it where no man has gone before!" --The Globe

:P

Kevin, make your bid, i am gonna be your unknown sidekick consortium for the financing ;-)

Btw, as you Kevin and Chris, have the numbers... have you ever thought to calculate how much each CrackBerry user should contribute to buy BBRY??? Sort of an FBO, a FansiteBuyOut...;-)

Posted via CB10

"This all has the makings of an excellent movie plot. Embarrassed CEO buys the competitor battered down by his former employer to take it back to the top and crush the success gained by his replacement."

That gave me a chuckle.

Posted via CB10

This is good for BlackBerry because now they have options. So they will do what's best instead of taking whatever they can get.. It seems people do still believe in BlackBerry and want it to survive!.. So I am anxious to see what happens with the company..

For no one being interested in BlackBerry, they surely have a lot of people interested in potentially bidding. Ironic....you know you have something good when an ex Apple CEO wants to bid on BlackBerry.

Also, for BBM, if "no one uses that anymore", there is surely a lot of people downloading and using it, since pin exchange has gone viral.

It just takes using, and learning about the product (BlackBerry) , to truly appreciate it. I know I love the Z10!

Posted via CB10

Can everybody make a bid? I thought you have to need... ehm... wait.. yes... CASH!

Posted via CB10

Ever consider that BlackBerry is kiking ass and just pretending too have all these problems?? I mean they are showing up all over... and theres no such thing as bad publicity???? lol ya never know ;)

Posted via CB10

Having him buy the company would be a death wish. You think people will take seriously a man who fired Steve Jobs? As if BlackBerry doesn’t have enough hate directed at them already...

Sorry. Pass!

Does Mr Scully imply that he is the right person who can do better job in marketing in this mobile phone industry?

Posted via CB10

Only the person best for BlackBerry is RIM no1 else cos we got history & we just need 2 make a story

Posted via CB10

This guy is for real. He was on Piers Morgans show recently and teased Piers about a company AAPL should buy. They tabled the discussion for a later date.

Sculley has decided to take a real look at the company.

He will be known as the guy that almost killed apple and the guy that killed BlackBerry..

Posted via CB10

Everyone knows what BlackBerry needs to do get back to where they need to be, apart from the board of directors.

It isn't about the journey it's about having the right people in the right positions.

A recommended reading is Jim Collins : Good to Great.

I hope that the Board are forced to read this book.

Training not redundancies.

Time for a technology revolution from BlackBerry.

Pager to Smartphone. Time to Stop, Look and Listen.

Review - Plan - Do : REPEAT

Posted via CB10

Are they obligated to go through with the Prem Watsa deal if he comes up with the money? How could Sculley and his people perform their due diligence in time?

It seems that what BB really has been missing is a board of directors and CEO with any vision.

What's this all about?!I s Scully masterplanning to take BlackBerry down (as if it wasn't down enough now) like he did with Apple? Why isn't he just a Retired enjoying sunset at the Keys?

Me?! I keep movin'!

He would be the better bet than whats out there now and his bid seems more likely to keep the company together. While bringing back the founder is also better than Fairfax Sculley actually has the experience needed to position BB better in the market.

The good new for Sculley is that BBRY is already sunk so he'll have less to do than he did destroying Apple.

I'm not for anyone taking it private, Scully and others have said that there is value in BlackBerry, and it needs to be realized by its shareholders who have paid the bill for this transition.

Posted via CB10

The shareholders did not pay the bill for this transition. They gambled their money in the hopes that someone will buy at a higher price later on in the stock market. BlackBerry has not received financing from issuing shares for a long time.

I bid 5 Billion Quatloos (Star Trek Geeks will get the reference) . My point however is that no one wanted BlackBerry until the Fairfax offer and now everyone wants a piece of them. I am concerned that it may be broken up.

Posted from my Z10 on CB10 on Bell Mobility

Blackberry is dead!

I want a non-touchscreen top-of-the-line BB with a state-of-the-art trackpad hat features great hardware design. That is what BB should have produced. The Q10 is horrible.

I waited for three years for the release of the Q10. I own a BB 9650. This device is a rebranded BB Tour and marks he beginning of the end of BB: they just released devices without innovation and improvement.

Now, the marketplace has caught up with BB.

I wish some entity would buy he company fast. In the interim, there has been no announcement that BB's braindead management team has been fired wholesale.

I now have to switch to an iPhone5s because of the BB's braindead management or downgrade to a BB 9990 in order to remain a BB user. Does this make sense?

BB needs creative management/design/marketing team to order to make a comeback in the U.S. Otherwise, they can sell their crappy devices offshore in developing countries.

The "Barney" person who keeps making disparaging remarks needs to take a cursory look at BB's financial statements so he can understand what "crazy" looks like.

A number of you have already quietly purchased iPhones because you are well aware that BB is dead.

If a BB9900 is your next best option to stay with BB, it's still a upgrade over your BB9650. Since it looks like you have came to the conclusion that you have to get a iPhone5s to meet the requirements which kept you with your old BB, I hope everything works out with your decision and that you find happiness in your tortured life. Peace be with you.

jay_men:

What do you mean "tortured life?" You have a lot of nerve. Stick to the facts. BB's management destroyed a good product by their failure to innovate and listen to their core customers.

Why don't you go buy the damn device (Crapple iCrap 5S) and enjoy it. Please move on and stop your ignorance. Peace

Posted via CB10

Jerale Hoard: Did you buy a ticket to Blackberry Town? Which device did you decide t choke on?

Anyone who stood up against Jobs is ok in my books. Jobs bullied people into creating his vision, not caring who was harmed in the process. Read his book and was totally turned off by a man who is sadly an icon for our younger generation.

Curve 8320, Bold 9780, Bold 9900, PB 64gb, Z10

Nooooooo! He almost killed Apple before Jobs returned. Don't let him near BlackBerry!

My ZeeTen strikes again! (Z10STL100-3/10.1.0.2354)

Holly crap, why is it that BlackBerry can't ever attract any talented people at the top for a change!? Really is this who BlackBerry is entertaining as a future owner or CEO?!?!

Do we really want Mr. Fosil there to have a run at BlackBerry, a company that is already barely hanging by a thread?

This company has the worst luck of attracting the worst collection of nimrods nitwits, wankers and tossers walking the Earth!

I swear, most of these characters have to be carbon dated just to prove they are real! Let's see, our sad and pathetic collection of broken toys includes Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsilille, the two ass clowns of the apocalypse, the Cryptkeeper aka Pringle Watsahisname and Fairfuck Financial, and to top this shitpile, Thorsten Heins Ketchup who now apparently resides at an undisclosed location in an underground bunker waiting for his $55.4 million little friends to join him once he is rid of BlackBerry...

And now the cherry on top of this shitcake, Mr. Fosil who nearly bankrupted Apple and almost ran that company into the ground...and was fired by the board for his piss poor performance...

Gotta ask again ...is this who we want?

PS In better news for myself, I've just got the BB 10.2 OS update. Can't wait to download it and see how my Z10 will perform!

Posted via CB10

Read some history first before making proclamations. How did Sculley nearly bankrupt Apple? He helped bring revenues from $800M to $8B in his tenure and when he left Apple had $2B in cash with only $200M in debt. If anything, Sculley helped contain the mad scientist we know as Steve Jobs to compete in the PC market at the time and he also taught the Jobs a thing or two about marketing before the late founder became know as marketing guru in this generation.

What if he is a spy? What if this is a plan from Apple to take control of BB and tear us up. He makes a bid and then hands it over to Apple. Please don't let that happen!!!! Its a great day with how BBM is rolling keep the faith!!

Yeah i guess you right, I'm just over protective of my Blackberry and do not adjust well to change.

Scully is far better than the current management. He can at least bring in more traditional corporate management style, which was the initial reason why Scully was invited into Apple. BBRY has been running too wild from a small hamlet of Waterloo, and they need some discipline.
But BBRY never ceases to provide us with constant entertainment topics.

So by future value, does he mean the future value that Thorsten has been talking about for the last couple of years?
After all, BlackBerry has said that they are transitioning and it will take time.
I just don't see how what he is saying is any different from what BlackBerry is saying.

Trojan horse. Microsoft destroyed Nokia from the inside. Looks like the final push to destroy BB.

Posted via CB10

Blackberry's management ran the company into the ground and you are calling for my head? Many of you have already made the switch to the iPhone or other devices. I know that you have. The ones who have not are waiting for instructions. You are zealots. Blackberry Town folks. Men and women waiting for the order to go and swallow a Blackberry and choke to death en masse.

Meanwhile, where is the petition for BB's CEO is resign?

Most of you youngins don't remember this guy. He is known as the guy that almost killed Apple. Back in the 90's he tried to compete toe to toe with Microsoft and IBM (losing greatly) created a ton of different computers that were incompatible with each other.

He is also the moron who switched from Motorola to Power PC instead of Intel. Another devastating move.

The best thing this soda jerk ever did was buy NEXT computer (the successful company Steve Jobs made after leaving Apple and bring Steve back.

Posted via CB10

I'd like to know why Blackberry's Board of Directors have not fired the CEO and the rest of BB's braindead management by now? It seems to me that the entire Board needs to be replaced as well.

I suffered for years with a horrible BB. Blackberry just released mediocre after mediocre device (no improvement or innovation) and thought they could remain relevant. Even now, they have been told to manufacture a top-of-the-line non touchscreen device and this advice has not been heeded. BB has no future in manufacturing pure touchscreen devices. Z10 is not selling. Q10 is not even visible in retail stores in America.

Do you mean to tell me that BB is going to eschew (not improve) the best keyboard ever made for a cellphone? The touchscreen on the Q10 is not fluid and, in fact, easy to use. I found it to be cumbersome.

Blackberry's comeback will hinge on a top-of-the line non touchscreen device that has state-of-the art features and says: BUY ME.

The rest of you crackheads can drop dead. The marketplace has spoken. BB will never compete head to head in the touchscreen market.