BlackBerry board reportedly refused to break up the company

Microsoft, Apple, Lenovo and Cisco may have been interested in parts of the company

By Adam Zeis on 8 Nov 2013 03:23 pm EST
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A new report from Reuters states that BlackBerry had apparently turned down any and all offers to break up the company during their strategic review period. Lenovo, Microsoft and Apple had reportedly all expressed interest in various parts of BlackBerry, however the board rejected the proposals stating that breaking up parts "did not serve the interest of all stakeholders."

Both Microsoft and Apple were interested in various patents from BlackBerry's large portfolio, while other companies like Lenovo and Cisco were looking for bigger pieces of the pie. 

BlackBerry will be staying intact for the time being, though the board hasn't ruled out breaking off parts in the future. The company received a $1 billion investment earlier this week and called an end to their strategic review period.

Reader comments

BlackBerry board reportedly refused to break up the company

219 Comments

Poor word choice. It's like "firstly", "secondly"... they just sound horrible and are totally informal.

Q10 and Canadian all the way! Q10SQN100-3/10.2.0.1791

I think he's referring to its vagueness and hearsay. BlackBerry gave me a million z10s to write this post, reportedly.

Posted via CB10

Reportedly, I received early access to all future BlackBerry products that may be developed in return for saying BlackBerry rocks and should not be broken up.

Those and many other were auto -insert adjectives any time RIM or BlackBerry was used in any news story, print or TV. You say something often enough from a variety of sources and voila, it becomes self fulfilling. Especially in a business where you have to sell your next handset with your branding in it to someone who will carry that with them where ever they are and become associated with. Positive brand association is a major driver in smart device sales, BECAUSE it Is so personal. You don't always have your tablet or laptop with you, but you DO have your phone with you pretty much at all times. So this repeated use of negative adjective descriptors in EVERY article whether that item was ultimately a positive story or not had over time made this an ironclad association in the public's mind. That' s why I hate that use of auto - adjective in the news.

Swiped with one thumb from the virtual keyboard of my awesome Z10!

My favorite instance of its use is when reporters are the ones using it. I think it is indicative of how little old-fashioned reporting occurs these days. Everything is a repost rumor mill lacking entities with real authority on whatever is being reported.

Posted via CB10

That was no hit on Adam, I had already forgotten what the article was about, and was just focusing on the word and when I last heard it in a radio broadcast.

Posted via CB10

"Reportedly" is commonly used when you want your report or blogs to look credible while not being liable on that...

Posted via Z10

Good riddance, maybe they're not that evil people make them out to be. It's good the big players were interested though and rightly so.

Posted via CB10

But only interested in pieces... no one wanted the whole thing... BlackBerry is gonna have to go this on it's own with FairFax it seems...

Did they though?

"(Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd's board does not believe a break-up of the Canadian smartphone maker is currently in its best interests, even though Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Lenovo Group Ltd, among others, have expressed interest in acquiring parts of the company, according to people familiar with the discussions."

Lenovo expressed interest in acquiring parts of the company...

Canada would have blocked any type of acquisition (whole or piece) by Lenovo at any rate.

Did you put it back down before it burned your skin?

Swiped with one thumb from the virtual keyboard of my awesome Z10!

I feels pretty good actually. Lol
I have endomondo with support for my 100$ bluetooth heart rate monitor again!!! Good times good times

Good show!
As a faithful BB stock holder I am pleased that there will be no breakup in the near future.

There is a great value to parts like BBM: just look at IPO figures for Twitter and Facebook.
I was distressed by the low-ball offer @$9.00/share. Now BB can reinvent itself and increase in value on it's own; it may take some time.

BB has been slow to develop users and enterprise because there was no certain future for the company. Now there is some light for what will come (even if dim).

It was not long ago that Apple was almost gone ... now look at it's status.
Hopefully the BB company will do as well and regain market share.

Buy more shares? Maybe a good time.

"It was not long ago that Apple was almost gone ... now look at it's status.
Hopefully the BB company will do as well and regain market share."

Apple is a computer company. BlackBerry is a handset maker. There is not one handset maker since the beginning of time (Western Electric) that has survived. Heck, even the computer companies during Apple's early years are practically all gone too (IBM, Atari, Ohio Scientific, Commodore, Gateway, Radio Shack, etc).

Apple has re-invented themselves by entering new markets (music, phones, tablets, etc). And they do this by envisioning a finished product BEFORE the technology to make it is arrived. Apple then acquires the tech or develops the tech to reach that new goal. This is done as a long term goal (5-10 years)

All other companies waits for the technology to come to them and build around it. Or a 6 month goal.

There are very few companies that would even allow R&D expenditures on such a longer term plan as they want to see a return immediately. Until BlackBerry has an ultimate vision on how the world will be, they are better off selling off the parts and giving what's left back to their shareholders.

Sad, but they missed the boat that they once piloted.

Amen.
IBM divested itself of products that were low profit. They sold the PC division to Lenovo. Now they are able to better service their commercial customers.
Apple is a PC maker with a steady 5% percent of the market, not improving. They are reworking their handset line with trivial changes just to make a 'new' product. In the past year their market share for phones has diminished by five percent each half year. Their main business is reselling other makers products: music, videos, books.
On the other hand, BB has an improving number of Enterprise servers: looking into the future. BBM is soon becoming a major player in that niche.

IBM also makes a lot of mainframes, their primary product. They sold off the printer division and the PC division because (a) mainframes were more profitable and (b) internal politics were strangling both of them. BlackBerry's primary product is phone handsets. In both cases, to sell hardware they must also sell appropriate software.

Twitter and Facebook have a ton of overinflated hype behind them. Blackberry has none of that...

It will take BB at least a couple years before they are seen as a viable concern again, and that will then be reflected in the stock price.

BB has been slow to develop users and enterprise because there has been no real compelling reason to put up with app shortages and no reason to put up with workarounds to equal the functionality of competing platforms.

If you want to compare BB to Apple, keep in mind Apple didn't start to make any profits of note until the iMac/iPod. So it took them 20 years, with their longevity mostly attributed to the success of the Apple II/IIgs line of computers. (the Mac only began to eclipse the II in the early 90's). It's a different time now. Smartphones are plentiful, and widespread. What's the next new market? That's a very hard prediction to make, and there really isn't an obvious path to take.

There was just recently a Windows Phone called the HTC Titan. BlackBerry beaten to the punch again. :p

So let's go with something better then,say BlackBerry Boss
Or BlackBerry Beast. There are many possibilities, but I like the alliteration if these. Plus the double entendre of " that's so Boss!" and yeah I literally am likely to be the Boss if I'm using a BlackBerry

Swiped with one thumb from the virtual keyboard of my awesome Z10!

BlackBerry Boss... maybe it should be a special edition phone by Hugo Boss. Looking up Hugo Boss's Branding I found:

HUGO = Progressive, Edgy, Urban
BOSS = Sophisticated, understated, modern, businesswear

Some compatible luxury co-branding right there. BlackBerry could really try to get back to that " business man is naked without his BlackBerry" idea.

Dress For Success!
BlackBerry by Hugo Boss
Or
BOSS BlackBerry

Posted via CB10

Blackberry Renaissance or just bPhone..

Seriously, we need a kicka** ecosystem, good UI (TAT unleashed plus prowess of Don Lindsay (formerly of Apple and Microsoft), reinvented phone designs should do.

Mr. Chen will "impress me" when I can buy a Z30 from ATT.

WTF is up with this "VZ Exclusive" BS?

"Get er done Mr. Chen"....

Posted via CB10

It is, rather, interesting that so many major logos wanted a piece of BlackBerry.

According to the corrupt US market - BlackBerry had nothing of value.

Pieces of garbage.

Posted via CB10

They may well have if BlackBerry BOD didn't shoot down any offers that would mean a break up.

You missed his point clearly.

-STV on Z10STL100-3/10.1.0.4780 TMO US

Yes... interested for reasons including a CYA move so they don't get sued for certain patent infractions.

Don Diego loves and endorses the Zed.

I was in a Bestbuy today (Toronto) I wanted to see a Z30 in person, they had so many different phones but no Z30. I even asked the guy if he had one. No go...
(the phone is available in Canada for sale now is it not)

No phone, No display, No advertising. No good... BlackBerry what do we have to do to make you wake up... if you want to play the game and play with the big boys you have to advertise and get your stuff on display...otherwise there will be no sale.

Someone please wake up BlackBerry...
Thanks.

www.livingtruth.ca www.carm.org

The Telus at Yorkdale mall in Toronto had one, but it wasn't on. The Bell shop right next to it had a fully unlocked one (not the special vendor display mode) right at the store entrance!

I had a good play with it. Definitely want one! :)

Posted via CB10

I agree. It takes more than just having them at the carrier stores. They need to be at Best Buys & Walmart everywhere. And advertising is everything. You have to be in people's head, otherwise it's out of sight, out of mind.

 BBM Channel: TheGroupRide C00055B7C

I saw them advertise i think the Z30 or 10, it was one of them at the Walmart close to me. right in the front covering the theft sensor things...probably the Z10 though.

what they need is to get away from retailers that have no competence in selling.. Best Buy will sell whatever nets them the best profit... Blackberry needs to be out amongst the public, on the streets, in mall kiosks, in people's faces, back in their mindspace. They're going to have to fight for market share without relying on retailers.

I wish but it's not going to happen if BlackBerry sticks with their plan to refocus at enterprise customers.

I think that it isn't a Verizon "exclusive" so much as that the other carriers are not interested in carrying the phone. AT&T, is probably still smarting from all the unsold Q10 and Z10 inventory. Remember, they are giving the Z10 away on contract.

Not surprising, except to most of the business analysts. Which says pretty much all you need to know about business analysts.

Posted via CB10

Yes, and wall street and the media couldn't wrap their head around that reality, and tried to drive BlackBerry right off the cliff. Hope they choke on it....

Sent from the future on my Z10.

The business papers don't seem to notice how contradictory their "No one wants BlackBerry" and "Tons of companies from apple to Google to lenovo to cisco etc... wanted to bid on BlackBerry".

Posted via CB10

perception, not reality, drives stock prices. If there was a financial interest in driving BB's stock high, it would have been accomplished. There was simply no convincing story to be told that would compel anyone to buy in.

I feel Blackberry is a good stock buy call me crazy ,call whatever, but I believe in the product , and with good management this company will be back, most likely never at the same stock level as in the past, but I can see it hovering around 20 buck range one day

Never gamble on emotions. That's rule number one. Rule number two is never gamble what you cannot afford to lose.

Q10 and Canadian all the way! Q10SQN100-3/10.2.0.1791

Yep. +1. I nearly bought stock on the release of BB10. A good mate reminded me of not buying on emotion..........Phew !!.

Just wondering if it's good value now :)

be an eBay trader.. buy low, sell high. :) You stand to make better money than you ever could waiting for a stock to rise....

I did not gamble on emotions,It was supposed to be a slam dunk.BB had no phones that could compete with Apple or Samsung,until the much delayed Z10,came to the market.What the hell went wrong?I guess to start,all those retail displays never worked,what a waist of money.You can spend as much as you like ,but you have to do it right and be wise,BB has lost another year and I have to say that Prem is my only hope, as he seems to be persistent ,and I have always succeeded when I persisted. It's only money right,but it's not funny.Next ER I am going to look ,and feel like such an ass.Thanks for the great Christmas Thor and Frank.

I believe too.
Look at the IPO's for FB and Twitter. What is is the real value of BBM? Only time will tell.
There, those two made new stock issues and created cash for the companies.
In the case of the BB company there are already stocks in the market.

Is there a future for BB based solely on BBM? Perhaps better than FB and Twitter.
For BB, there are already other real cash flow products and services.

Hype sold the stocks of FB, Twitter, and their ilk. The return on their stock value is going to be horrible. Don't buy stock based on hype...

There's a hell of a lot more people using FB, Twitter, etc. than Blackberry, too. That matters in the grand scheme of things.

I agree that the VZ only is crappy! So glad they are sticking together. I hope they come back and bitch slap all these other companies.

Posted via CB10

I knew BOD would keep BBRY as a whole and yes I love my Z10 that's why I purchased 4400 shares today and already making a profit. Mr.Chen, I believe in you and hope you can turn this ship around like you did with Sybase.

Posted using my awesome BBZ10

It's at an all-time low right now and guaranteed to go up at least a few bucks, so if you sell at the right time you'll make money.

Q10 and Canadian all the way! Q10SQN100-3/10.2.0.1791

Well that's putting your money where your mouth is.

I may pick up a few extra myself, go for another ride.

Good luck

10

So happy our Board of Directors stayed strong! BlackBerry is worth so much more as a whole as a shareholder I'm so happy i get to stay along for the ride back to the top! The investment deal is soo much better than the buyout offer from fairfax! Go BlackBerry you will win marketshare through innovation, security and many values that made you famous just in a new/adaptive way!

Posted via CB10 on my  Blackberry Q10!

Yeah, lovely laggy OS. Got a Nexus 7 2013 and the number of times it freezes doing nothing is absurd. Give me BB10 any day.

Z10STL100-2/10.2.0.1791

that's funny.. BB10 on my Z10 isn't exactly smooth.. and apps have been freezing up on me frequently, lately.. of course it depends on the app... what with the wishy-washy Android compatibility...

Thankfully I have a true Android device to fall back on when I get too frustrated...

RonBro66 we know you Secretly love BlackBerry why else would you keep coming back here to read and post stuff. Time to come out of the Closet and embrace your true feelings. Go and Treat yourself to a beautiful Z30. You deserve it...

:o)

www.livingtruth.ca www.carm.org

Putting S4 side by side with Z10. S4 lost all tests. S4 very well made and has great hardware spec. But unfortunately the lagging Android makes it slower than Z10 .

I had heard this before, nice to know it is confirmed. Glad to hear the board was in agreement. Lets hope this thing can be turned around, and quick.

Awesome news!!!!
Nice to see the board supported the clients and not big businesses who wanted to tear it apart.

Posted via CB10

What I think is BlackBerry are showing patience and perfect moment to strike back.

Apple and android were on the hype once, now any Operating system is indifferent in the users eye and all the craze is gone.

Though the wait did cost them but I think they are planning to hit back now. As apple doesn't wow people like it did before nor android.

Security issues between nations is on the news and BlackBerry can play very well here.

Posted via CB10

Yes they can, completely agree with you on this. Security and stability of BlackBerry is like none other.

Posted via CB10

Yes I agree. Most consumers could care less about security at the moment but it will become an issue as people are storing their whole lives on their phones - then they will take Blackberry more seriously and ditch their crappy androids (here's hoping anyway!)

Posted via CB10

the only problem with your logic is that it doesn't follow reality: Apple (iOS) and Samsung (Android) are still on top. Everyone else is far behind. And behind those is Blackberry...

BlackBerry has a strong will to survive, more important than anything when in a situation as this. Mr. Chen we CB's have your full support!

Posted via CB10

Very happy to see it kept intact. It says something to each of the potential purchasers that the company still has integrity both, in its business stock and it's moral stock to its employees and share holders. Well done.

Posted via CB10

Reuters runs cap stories. This is the source for all the negative news stories that never come true. Wall street journal seems to have some good sources but Reuters has no credibility, just a shill for shorters and manipulators. Shorters must have reloaded now and want to drive share price lower. This is where BlackBerry needs to step up PR. Either affirm the story or negate it. BlackBerry probably will just let it hang as they have in the past. Can they not get some marketing people in to run PR? BlackBerry has shown they don't have the internal talent to handle this stuff.

Posted via CB10

I'm being selfish in wanting them to stay as one unit, but I wouldn't really be interested in them if they went separate ways. BlackBerry is worth fighting for. I don't give a crap what the morons in the press say.

Posted via CB10

As integrated as all the parts are, it never really made sense to me that the company could survive if split up. Glad to see that they were trying to keep the pieces together. Now if they could have worked on market perception and actually selling devices...

I too am glad that the handset business will remain.

Many business users swear by the BB product .. not swear at it.
One reason that BB phones have low sales is that their vintage products have long life.
You change the battery, upgrade the OS, and you have a usable instrument.

(In contrast, Apple phones don't have self-replaceable batteries; when OS are upgraded the instrument sucks battery).

Very true. In my company, we get a new phone only when the current one is broken (except for the executives of course). Most of my coworkers with BB phones are still on BB 7 and even BB 6 phones. Many times when I accidentally dropped my Bold 9900 hard on floors and pavements, I was always amazed that the phone survived with hardly a scratch, followed quickly by the thought of another missed opportunity to get a BB10 phone. It probably will take another year or two for BlackBerry's corporate customers to fully transition to the BB10 platform.

BlackBerry just past the lowest point and they will revive the story. OS is great, devices are solid. The company is getting better.

Posted via CB10

Apple and Android will be where BlackBerry is today. And then BlackBerry will be top once again.

It's an eco system of tech.

Posted via CB10

How to unwind the Brand damage? All this is nice, but how to fix the damage caused in the last 6 months?

Posted via my BlackBerry Z10

I think apple wanted the os portion since they forgot how to rewrite a new one. Lol

It would be crazy to break it up. Individual portions of the company would be best with others. Glad to see it still around for the time being. Now let's get the work out about how great this os is!

You wouldn't know good if it bit you in the...!

No matter what there is a huge struggle ahead fo BlackBerry. Make no mistake. Bb10 must find itself within a broader ecosystem in which it is virtually unrecognizable. But how? Keep the BlackBerry Style yet be fully integrated with android?

Posted via CB10

I'd also thank Mike, Jim and Thorsten. It's all of them and the board that persevere, despite the outside noise and pressure, to complete and deliver the BB10 platform and keeping the hardware and software business together.

I don't take any of these stories coming from people saying they were prepared to buy all or part of Blackberry seriously. Seems like Monday morning quarterback talk. If they really were interested, why didn't they put in a solid bid before Nov 4?

Question I think the Board and Mr. Chen need to answer is what will Blackberry do differently going forward to change the outcome in their favor. The current business strategy hasn't been working, and simply changing the CEO isn't going to cause the market to suddenly react to the same strategy favorably. So I'll be watching and hoping to see some innovative approaches and thinking coming from the new management team.

I have always believed that Blackberry wasnt going anywhere, and here's more proof of it. As a minor shareholder. its time to make some money again. Blackberry was and always will be protected by national security. This is what makes a difference between Blackberry and the others who are either dying or struggling.

Food for thought,What happens to the Zillion Law suits filed against BB now?I mean class action suits that have been filed on behalf of shareholders in the past month or so.

I'm a shareholder, and I'd rather take a chance on a future rather than sell it off for bits. Even if it means risking the whole pie.

10

As a shareholder this is great news.....I'm enjoying it because by tomorrow we'll hear more doom and gloom stories

Kind of hard to break up BlackBerry and it really makes no sense. BlackBerry is not just a phone maker, BlackBerry is a secure system from phones to software to networks. It either goes down in flames or it operates as one.

Go BlackBerry!!

Posted via CB10

Not surprised. The product is excellent. More will find out. I think this has all been good advertising too. Its just all worth it. And totally undervalued.

Posted via CB10

This is about the best thing I have ever read on this site. The board made a decision in favor of the INTEGRITY of the company, of the very concept of BlackBerry. They refused to compromise that one priority value. Even the naysayers on this site have to admit that was very strong of them.
How could you not think there is at least a reasonable chance, with the Fairfax deal and the new awareness of needing to make important changes, that this company will really turn it around bigtime.

Posted via CB10

How noble of the board...to try and favour INTEGRITY..This is the same board that bankrupted this company by leaving founders in place too long, and the replacing them with that German Moron who wrecked this brand forever.

Now, when all is left is scrap...they screw the shareholders one last time by not selling in parts..

I hope 20 or so lawsuits deplete their directors insurance and reaches into their homes...

What a bunch of Losers!!!

I don't see a way out of the current mess without splitting off the handset division. John Scully appears to have a fairly sensible plan. Reportedly that is.

Posted via CB10

I suppose a good takeaway from the experiment, is at least BlackBerry now knows which parts of the business is most coveted by others, and might signal that to be a good area of development.

Sent from the future on my Z10.

Shocked that they did that...usually shareholders just want to get as much money as they can.

Is this sound investing or blind faith? Either way I like it

From my smokin' Barbeque10

You know, seeing that interested party list, seems very telling....answers many questions regarding the continual bombardment of negative press/blogs against BlackBerry, imo.

Agreed. Big money players were looking to get a bargain basement deal.

I wish BlackBerry would go private, though. Going private would help BlackBerry focus on developing its core business without the quarterly bad-mouthing and bashing from the media.

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

Took out space in news papers to explain they are sticking around. All makes sense now.

Posted via CB10

This reminds me of Michael Dell advising Apple to close shop and give the shareholders their money back. I'm glad Apple didn't and I'm glad BlackBerry didn't break up. However, I question whether Chen is going to keep BlackBerry in the handset biz. And for me, if BlackBerry isn't selling phones, they may have well closed up shop. :(

This is not new. We've known this for some time now. The original News Release clearly stated that the deciding factor in determining the overall outcome of the "Strategic Review/Committee" was that certain criteria had to have been met before any decision. If they were not met, BBRY would reject the offer(s).

The one criterion that was clearly stated was the continuation and full support for BB10. This alone proved that BBRY never intended to sell off pieces of the company. Doing so would have been absolutely illogical, especially when the company was and still is sitting on $Billions$, not to mention they remain debt FREE.

Unfortunately BlackBerry did a terrible job in explaining this in its News Release. This lack of information was IMO the factor in poor Z10 hardware sales. Obviously the Board of Directors and its CEO dropped the ball on this nonsense "Strategic Review" which proved to have accomplished nothing but confusion.

Now that we have a new proven CEO based on past performance, let's take back the consumer space, while continuing to strengthen the Enterprise. Mark my words, BBRY will not survive on Enterprise alone, they require consumer space too. And sitting in the #3 spot is a great feat.

As a shareholder and a fan, this is exactly what I had hoped was going on. I didn't want to see the company break up, I want it to become successful again.

Posted via CB10

Maybe BlackBerry just did this to find out exactly what their competitors are lacking. Apple wanted these patents, while Microsoft wanted these etc. Now you know your competitions Achilles Heal! Ok ok.....was a nice thought! lol

Trolls should be forced to use BB10!

Good idea, maybe BlackBerry can consider subletting these patents to these companies eg selling them the rights to use them & earn additional money from these patents while buying time to develop better technology for new Blackberry devices in the future.

Posted via CB10

Those much wiser than I say "buy low, sell high".

BlackBerry is low.

You figure it out from here

;-)

Posted via CB10 from my Q10 (SQN100-3)

Agree, I don't get some carriers and why they are taking so long in releasing BB10 updates. Does not make sense at all. I've been on an official 10.2 update for weeks now.

I like the fact, they are going to fight. Respect that. Now spend some $$$ wisely, get the word out. Take advice from CB and Chris Umi, perpetuate the good news, drive it home! I heard some great ideas on today's podcast. Remember BB, the CMO is the most IMPORTANT position today. Anyone can fire 4500 people, cut costs, deal with mechanics of the biz. The tricky part today is SALES. Now SELL LIKE HELL! Oops, did I just say that?

I hate the part "hasn't ruled out" but I guess they have to say that as it's probably always on the cards to sell off something whether it's big or small without affecting business

Love BB10!

Just bashed them in an comment.. Those guys have gone ugly and may have been paid by rivals who want BlackBerry to fail...
Crazy guys and cheap headline....

Posted via the awesome keyboard on Z10STL100-1/10.2.0.1791 using CB10 App

So they have a little fight left after all. I have to say good job Mr. Chen or his team for controlling the release of this news, another day or so and it would have been a different story and not in BB's favor.

Great decision BlackBerry BOD. I think the breaking up of BlackBerry into parts will not benefit BlackBerry but will send it in to oblivion instead.

It will not benefit the Canadian Pension funds invested in it as this will only help a loss cutting or kiss realisation effect. The world will then loose one device with great technology.

These different pieces will then only serve to strengthen Blackberry's current competitors and then change the playing field all together.

Posted via CB10

The board's decision to keep the company intact and Fairfax changing its go-private bid to a bond deal are like a dream comes true for fans and long term shareholders like myself. Just wish they had thought of the bond deal right from the start and not had to announce the strategic review that probably killed or delayed many sales.

Ammm...i dont mind all the negative talk,,i see buying blackberry stock @ $6.50 as a great opportunity. Lets say company recovers and goes north of $30 in a few years, what will yall be saying then? I am more cmfortable paying $6.5 for brry than $30+ for fb or twit.

How is it going higher?Sales are not going to be good at all this Quarter.I can only see some surprises coming from Mr. Chen,like targeting the Chinese market,or getting Snowden to do a commercial about not being able to crack BB.

So they refused to see the obvious. Another mistake, I guess, like so many other in the past

Just my 2 cents!

So someone still has some cojones left...if only they applied that attitude and due diligence to the way they conduct the day to day business as well as product development, implementation and marketing.

PS Boulben your BlackBerry days are numbered...LOL...:-p

Winter Is Coming

Here is a CBC News article about new BlackBerry CEO John Chen and what his arrival might mean for BlackBerry, as well as the Cryptkeeper aka Pringle Watsahisname and Fairfuck Financial:
________________________________

"When it comes to Fairfax's bid for Blackberry, it seems Prem Watsa's Tom Sawyer trick didn't work. Surely you know the story of Tom Sawyer and his fence-whitewashing. But in case not, here is the one-line summary with apologies to Mark Twain.

Tom has been stuck with the job of painting a fence and manages to make it so appealing that his dumber friends beg to do the work while he goes fishin' or nappin' or whatnot.

We've all tried it at one time or another. "Yummy yummy yummy" we say above the baby's mushed vegetables before trying to stuff it in her mouth. (I've never known the method to be especially effective, either at shucking off work or making babies eat things they don't like.)

But maybe I'm just not as wily as Tom Sawyer. My only consolation is that Prem Watsa isn't either. 

Stalking horse bid
In business, the strategy is sometimes called a stalking horse bid, but the same principles apply.

In this case Mr. Watsa's Fairfax Financial put an in an early bid for the company at $9 a share. If it had all gone as planned, some other company with deep pockets would have said "Wow, look at the great deal Watsa has. I can outbid that."

Instead, on the day that the Fairfax deal was supposed to go through and didn't, the shares are worth less than $7.

I fear that we are seeing a trend here: Tricks and talk instead of real strategies that will lead BlackBerry to success. But finally there is a sign that may have changed.

Last year's shakeup — where company old boys Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie stepped down, installing their hired hand Thorsten Heins — was more of the tricks and talk variety.

The new, new CEO John Chen is a horse of a different colour. For one thing, he is a complete outsider. For another, he has already accomplished one of the most difficult and most admired victories in business: Bringing a company back from near death. And that is more than a trick.

An interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2001, four years after he had assumed control of the software company Sybase and led the company back to profit, is revealing.

Turnaround track record
Sybase was a classic California software start-up from the 1980s. A bunch of computer nerds operating out of someone's basement were suddenly doing deals with Microsoft.

Ten years later, the company had fallen on hard times. That's when Chen stepped in.

According to that 12-year-old interview, Chen's strategy was twofold: to look ahead to what the economy needed next, but also to forget about shareholders who want an instant return and instead work to satisfy employees and customers.

"If the employees are worrying about their jobs every other day," Chen told the Journal, "there's no point how brilliant your plan is, they aren't going to stick around." Whereas when you cater to stock speculators, "You do something, the stock moves up, they sell it."

There is a certain irony in the fact that just before John Chen's arrival, BlackBerry announced it was cutting 40 per cent of its staff.  And with new $1 billion in investment capital raised with the help of Fairfax's Prem Wasta, Chen will have time to try out his new strategies. Chen himself is investing his reputation.

Short-term speculators in BlackBerry have been warned: Chen does not care about you. But for the buy and hold crowd, it is comforting to remember what Chen did at Sybase. 

Ten years after he assumed control, the company had its best year ever and shares were worth about $26 each. Three years later, Chen worked out a deal to sell Sybase to the European software giant SAP at $64 a share, or nearly $6 billion. That too, is more than just a trick."

Winter Is Coming

I'm confused by the wording used in the CBC report.

"I fear that we are seeing a trend here: Tricks and talk instead of real strategies that will lead BlackBerry to success."

Isn't the change in direction suggested by Prem Watsa, John S. Chen, and the BoD a "real" strategy that is aimed at BlackBerry success?

The idea of ignoring the bleating of the shareholder's for immediate gains in favour of keeping the employees productive and content is part of a "new" strategy, isn't it?

The effort to keep the company together rather than selling it off - to liquidate it - in pieces flies against the plans of the large US suitors is a significant contrarian strategy, isn't it?

The idea of reviewing the evidence and planning for the future, as expressed in Mr. Chen's first interviews, is a change from the "shoot from the lip" style of some of the earlier CEOs, isn't it?

Where are the tricks here?

No one can guarantee success, of course. But, I see no evidence that the BoD and recent investors in BlackBerry are engaging in a trend of "tricks and talk".

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The misinformation and conclusions here are mindboggling.

Blackberry didn't refuse to sell the company in pieces. It doesn't have that option. This isn't a private company.

the collective value of the bidders for the parts refused to offer enough to equal or top the ultimately defunct Fairfax bid.

This isn't "good news for the shareholders" as some poster above indicated.

It's terrible news for shareholders. It means that after an exhaustive sales process, no single bidder, including Fairfax, could get to $9-10/share and no combination of bidders for variosu components could get to that neighborhoo either. Period. End of story.

The company is now basially worth a third less. That's upwards of $1.5+ billion dollars. Not good news for the shareholders. The company is baarely worth more than the value of its cash. Not good news for the shareholders. The companies y basically only has enough cash to make it through 2014 at current curn rates, even with the new $1 billion infusion. Not good news for the shareholders.

This company may pull a rabbit out of the hat. Wasll Street doesn't expect it...not as a going concern, break up, or sale in its entirety. they don't seem to have much time. They don't seem to have a good track record of product innovation and introduction within a quick timetable. In fact, I'd say that's a galring company weakness. The BB10 product launches are a disaster, and that's what we have in front of us. Maybe the R+D Dept has something up their sleeves that's groundbreaking.

So, while I hope for the best, this is not good news for the shareholders (I'm not one of them...I'm just a customer) and time seems to be running out.

The most relevant thing is that those in the know -- now very many people/companiea -- don't see the value. That's scary.

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