Ex Apple CEO Sculley: "If anybody has a chance to turnaround BlackBerry, it's John Chen and his team"

John Sculley
By Kevin Michaluk on 16 Jan 2014 12:03 pm EST
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Former Apple CEO John Sculley took to Bloomberg TV yesterday, where the discussion went towards BlackBerry. Sculley, a BlackBerry user himself, was in the headlines a few months back as one of parties that was potentially putting together a bid to buy BlackBerry while the for sale sign was on the company.

During the interview, Sculley talks about BlackBerry's hidden value being in its BlackBerry Enterprise Servers. Sculley has involvement in another company called OpenPeak, who's in the business of security and managing data on enterprise devices. With BES having 675 carrier relationships around the world, Sculley saw the merger of OpenPeak and BlackBerry (BES specifically) as being a match made in heaven.

From there, Sculley has nothing but good things to say about BlackBerry's new CEO, John Chen, calling him nothing one of the most respected CEOs in the tech world. Sculley also said that "if anybody has a chance to turnaround BlackBerry, it's John Chen." We've heard about a few of Chen's new appointments to the company already, but the way Sculley is talking I almost the get the feeling there's a lot more new talent coming aboard already beyond what we have heard about in the press. 

Exciting times for BlackBerry. In case you missed it, be sure to read our Interview with John Chen, follow up observations from the interview, and give a listen to our awesome What's Going to Happen to BlackBerry podcast. We go into a lot of detail here about what Chen's turnaround plan looks like.

Reader comments

Ex Apple CEO Sculley: "If anybody has a chance to turnaround BlackBerry, it's John Chen and his team"

102 Comments

This guy would have destroyed BlackBerry. He was going to sell the hardware business to God knows who... fortunately he didn't even get the chance. And a lot of people around here were so excited about it...

Posted via CB10

Oh, I didn't know he had laid out his whole business plan, I guess that's what delayed his bid for the company. Everybody knows so much, like how he "destroyed" Apple -- revisionist Jobs-ites.

Seems so... but he needs to deliver... and get BlackBerry on track...
Then I will definitely respect him more

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry needs profits and if he can deliver...then great... because I want BlackBerry to stay.

I already have a lot of respect for him because of his great work at Sybase. :)

Posted via CB10

Not to burst your bubble or anything but that deal was in the works during Thorsten Time. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing but being accurate is also a virtue #wink

Posted via CB10

I highly doubt what you are saying. Heinz and co were too full of themselves to go that way. Also, they were too busy selling Blackberry, the company, not the phones, to make quick bucks which further created uncertainly in the market. They priced BB10 ridiculously high, especially in the emerging markets. I think this whole deal is part of the new direction for Blackberry from John Chen.

Foxconn deal was in the oven way before he jumped on ship. He just took the credit for it. That's not something you pull out in just a few weeks.

Posted via CB10

John Chen didn't take the credit for the Foxconn deal. He attributed the bulk of the work to the previous management team.

He did close the deal however, and therefore his contribution can't be underestimated.

My Chinese friends tell me Chen took Sybase to be a major force in China, and that if nothing else, is where he will add value. John Chen is busy buying BlackBerry shares on the cheap - so clearly is betting his future on BlackBerry.

Let's see some 2014 adverts, hmm I wonder if there's a spotting 2014 BlackBerry adverts thread.. well there is now

TechCraze C0008DDD1 :)

Aw c'mon, i'm trying to get it to catch on. Oh well..... At least it wasn't......................
THORRIBLE! >:D

Posted via CB10

was counting on it.
Kevin acknowledges me.
life goals complete
*victory fist in the air*

Posted via CB10

This guy is on fire!
Still laughing about that plan you made about the BlackBerry ad the other day XD

Posted via CB10

Bloomberg is part of the "Apple Hype Media Mechanism"... great to see Sculley tell these dim witted "Apple Cheerleaders" (by the way their Apple Cheerleading squad is composed of both women and "men" caked in makeup and doused in hair products) what is "really going on with the BlackBerry leadership and turnaround".

Pretty sure Sculley was willing to put up some of his dough for BlackBerry not too long ago....

I couldn't agree with you more. Those two are hired employees from Bloomberg? But they do represent the views and attitudes of the masses unfortunately. I will be very difficult to undo the handset brand damage. The only way is to not try at all to convince that audience that the new blackberry is more than just a keyboard. It is a wasted effort just to try. Those pop culture smug faces will simply remain smug. It would be best to change the focus of the target audience and solution as well. In time the brand itself, once it divorces itself from the standard consumer market, may indeed get some respect back. I don't see that happening till 2016.

Licensing agreement... needed next. Get others to manufacture and sell BB10 phones. Should have been done long ago. As well Crackberry, what about the Starbucks story and plain passwords issue? Good story for Crackberry to pick up but no mention of it?

Posted via CB10

Interesting to hear the Bloomberg "perceived reality "- glad Mr. Sculley could give them a small dose of actual truth. The more I find out about John Chen, the more I like. Chen-tastic!

#IchooseBlackBerry10
Etc.

Posted via CB10

Yeah yeah, Foxconn was in the works...... and the old team would have taken at least another six months to sign the contract if not longer

Posted via CB10

What concern me more in that interview is not the credits that Mr. Scully is giving to BlackBerry, but the incomprehensible and not justified laughs around BlackBerry.
I mean, how could a Business, Financial & Economic News site of that importance could act in such way. They should have a professionnal behavior during interviews?

Now, even if Mr. Scully is giving good words around BlackBerry's assets, the overall perception remain that if you own or are supporting BlackBerry, we will make a big public laughs of you, with no restriction.

Now how should BlackBerry react on that ?
In my mind, they are currently making propaganda to influence the market to avoid by any way anything that is called BlackBerry.

DS....happens on EVERY "BlackBerry Bash Story" on CNBC as well. Giggling, snarky Fanboys and Girls berating everything and everyone BlackBerry.... saddest part... is that a number of people who work for CNBC use and LIKE THEIR BLACKBERRYS, but when they are attacked.... they put their tail between their legs and slink away from defending BlackBerry.

This Bloomberg show is produced and presented from a pier in San Francisco....any wonder they are "Apple Dullards"???

Bloomberg, Forbes, WSJ should all be "ashamed of themselves" for what they have become... once great business reporting organizations becoming blog sites for metrosexuals and ditzy women to spew their "Technological Ideologies"....

Sculley was "amazingly refreshing" in his presentation on BlackBerry on Bloomberg in a "less than BlackBerry friendly environment".... rare to see such footage anywhere...

I could see a BlackBerry marketing campaign where iPhone users (wearing blinkers) are making big laught of crossing pedestrians using BlackBerry, lets say that the BlackBerry guys are typing one hand without effort while having a silly smile to them.
And then, ...Bang! Those iPhoner slam a street post, or even better a trash bin.

...Keep your eye opened, BlackBerry is back!

There is a way to "turn all this disrespect back on them" to be sure.... Samsung buried Apple with ads about the line nonsense etc... this could be used against them....

I thought the exact same them watching this interview. It's sicking how unprofessional they were toward a company the still brings in more money than they probably ever will.

The reaction from the girl in the middle when he pulled out the BlackBerry and her comments are the issues with BlackBerry. People still think of the old BlackBerry devices with slow browsers, no apps and great keyboards. BlackBerry needs to look at this interview and see what they can do to turn a perception of BlackBerry being out dated.

I do think that BlackBerry is one of the best phones on the market, it does have some shortcoming but all devices do. They just need to get the message out that they are not the same old device

Posted via CB10

Yes, a lot of damage has been done since the last Super Bowl. To get BlackBerry back to respectability is a huge task.

I wonder if they would have mocked BlackBerry like that if the interview subject was Mr. Chen?

Build a bad ass phone and watch the financial and technology journalists come grovelling back.

I know Barclays has an app for BlackBerry, get those huge banks on BlackBerry.

Mr Chen 'In this game there's no prizes for coming second. '

Everything. Or Nothing .

Posted via CB10

"incorrect".... Z30 is today, proabably, the best reviewed and recommended phone on the market .... see Verizon/Amazon owner ratings... and you have never heard a peep about it on any of these channels...

I, actually, sent an email to Walt Mossberg (formerly WSJ/ATD) and asked him when he was going to review the Z30 - he was "positive on Z10 review" and he emailed me back that he wasn't going to...

In other words... if something "smells like it might be positive for BlackBerry - it is buried"...

pssid:
you're right but we all know that the same "woman in the middle" will be the first to claim she always believed in Blackberry and loved its keyboard if Blackberry will come back as a major player (i believe they'll succeed in turning around the company, Blackberry10 has nothing to envy to other OS and i am sure they'll be original in their approach of the mobile computing device than iOS or Android that seem only smartphone OS)
So time, patience and keep on with the good job Mr. Chen!

Well it's a good thing that the deal with Scully and company didn't go through because he was definitely looking break up BlackBerry and only keep the asset he was interested in.

Perhaps once BlackBerry has completed it's recovery they will see the value in OpenPeak and take it off Mr Scully's hands

It's bullshit to hear them say blackberry only has keyboards and that's what there good for.

Posted via CB10

Another point which show how BlackBerry is superior than iPhone, at least for business purposes, is the fact that a former CEO of Apple is no longer using an iPhone but a BlackBerry, even in the controversy. He is even hoping that BlackBerry is not dead. To me that means a lot.

I shur hope blackberry can turn things around. Ive since gone over to android. Mainly because I want the high end of the market. Blackberry will focusing on the emerging markets and phones that do what they need them to do. Even the little things like compressing pictures on BBM drive me nuts, Ive moved passed small data plans and slow internet speeds. Couple years down the road I hope blackberry can produce top tier phones, I'll gladly pick one up

It's called the z30. At work the Samsung guys are dropping their devices in favor of the z30. Everyone except one now are all on z10 and z30 with a few legacy devices and loving it.

Posted via CB10

Did anyone else want to slap that girl in the red for saying "I can't believe I'm hanging out with you guys!" and then after the comment "Is there anyone in SanFran still using a BlackBerry?" she retorts with, "not necessarily by choice I would say". Maybe if she dislodged her head out of Apple's ass, she would realize that the phone she's holding is 3 years old.
Also, thank God Sculley didn't get his hands on BB.

This is part of what's so annoying. Seeing people like this with 'fake' power and influence, make fun of something just because they no longer like it, or don't think it's 'cool'. I bet you if you asked either of those 2 cacklers they wouldn't have been able to formulate a good technical reason as to hate a BlackBerry. All they would say is, 'it's old', 'no one has 'em by choice', 'they're not cool', etc.

And then unfortunately for people like us, we have to watch Scully defend a phone/company he really doesn't even care about. He just admitted that he was going to buy and break up the company.

With all that being said, I have forced myself to swallow the notion that we shouldn't expect anything groundbreaking, or really cool until 2015 maybe 2016 from BB. I believe there are a few things that need to happen, and will happen- they are already underway.

1. Security is becoming more and more of an issue. I know I'm not the only one who feels increasingly spied on by the likes of Google, NSA & co. People are going to get fed up...

2. Scandal/mishap... it always happens. I'm expecting something to happen on the Apple side. I don't care if it happens or not, but I think some event will effect Apple negatively in the coming years. I see trends that I personally 'concoct' in my head. I believe it will combine security, and failures.

3. Innovation/Invention through Competition... BlackBerry being under the radar for the most part for at least the next year and a half will help them come up with a new technology that will be must have.

4. Talent... Believe it or not, BlackBerry will be able to recruit and attract the talent.

Sorry for the pointless rant. Have a nice day.

Great write mate... and I am also happy that Sculley and his group did not get the opportunity he wanted for they would have killed my beloved BlackBerry.

The mobile version has been removed. You must search for it through your browser. All positive videos get removed.....lol

Posted via CB10

I love that he uses a BlackBerry. And who cares about what other people are using? Its that kind of moronic thinking that has people giving up security in lieu of games and apps. Don't get me wrong, apps are VERY important and seem the be the #1 hurdle for BlackBerry. However, that shouldn't be the main attraction to buy a phone. I'd love to see BB10 bring Theme builder next. 10.2 is amazing so far. It can only improve.

"Men's Fashion & Lifestyle" BBM Channel: C001214D9

This is what RIM should have done when the two headed dog that was to dual CEO setup was dismantled, hire a heavyweight CEO from outside if the company with the respect of the tech industry and business world and a proven track record of success.

You never promote from within (Thorsten Heins) when the company is failing and in a death spiral. In those circumstances someone from within is part of the problem, not the solution.

Posted via CB10 on Z30 STA100-2 / 10.2.0.1803 on O2 UK - Activated on BES10.2

Funny how 2 out of the 3 people in the interview are BlackBerry users. I'm not sure what they thought was so funny about that. Were they laughing at themselves?

People just don't know what BlackBerry 10 can do. I could go on and on about it but just look at the file manager and what you can do this the dropbox, box and link connections all native to the phone. I sent my girlfriend a mp3 ring tone by bbm to her iPhone. Guess what she could do with it. She could listen to it or email it and that was it. So I texted it to her. Same thing, listen to it or email it. So I emailed it to her so she could save it and use the ring tone. Nope, she couldn't even save it from the email.

Look at all the things you can do with a file on BlackBerry 10. Share it, save it, forward it, put it in the cloud with dropbox, save it to your desktop with Link, nfc it to someone or open it on your playbook.

Somehow, someway BlackBerry needs to show people what this os can do. It's just crazy how much better the os is compared to ios. How is it possible that the better technology is getting smoked by and inferior product. It's amazing what good marketing can do for a product. BlackBerry needs some of that good marketing big time.

Posted via CB10

Makes we wonder who they had lined up to buy the device business to. And it sounds like they were going to keep the BlackBerry name as opposed incorporating it into their brand.

If there's something I can't stand it's the typical American Journalist... Always smiling, thinking they are masters of the universe, talking a lot but saying nothing niente nada niet rien...!!!!

Ferrari ZetaDieci 10.2.1.1925

I have friends in that area that have BlackBerrys. So ones again main stream media trying to make BlackBerry look as bad as possible. But it was good to have (+) press on Chen.

After seeing the video above with those two hosts and Sculley, it's comical that market sentiment and opinions are shaped by those two. It's like getting financial or investment advice from Honey Boo Boo.

Yup, two reporters on business are insulting a device choice still used by millions of business people around the world. Nice.

I see Chen turning BlackBerry into a CRM Type business linked to BES Especially with a third SAP employee hire.

Weapon of choice Z10, Full Metal CB10!