John S. Chen is the appointed CEO at BlackBerry, taking the place of Thorsten Heins. Chen is currently a director at both Wells Fargo and Disney, and was most recently Chairman and CEO at Sybase. He is credited with transforming Sybase before the sale to SAP.
As the interim CEO of BlackBerry, Chen is responsible for strategic direction, strategic relationships and organizational goals.
Oct 21, 2014
BlackBerry CEO: 'We have to treat everything as part of our ecosystem, not just BlackBerry'
Last week, BlackBerry CEO John Chen travelled to Hong Kong to speak at the Technologies that Matter forum and cover a wide range of topics as noted below. The event itself wasn't streamed, so we've all been waiting to see if a video of the appearance would be uploaded and luckily, one has now arrived courtesy of BlackBerryClubs.
Oct 17, 2014
BlackBerry Passport demand has exceeded expectations
That's according to BlackBerry CEO John Chen who was in Hong Kong to attend the Technologies that Matter forum hosted by MIT Enterprise. It's certainly no secret that a lot of folks have had their shipments placed on back order, earlier we posted about how ShopBlackBerry shipments were now resuming, but it's also no secret the device has been selling out whenever its been made available.
Oct 10, 2014
BlackBerry CEO John Chen to speak at Technologies that Matter forum
Since taking charge as CEO at BlackBerry, John Chen has understandably been busy handling the agenda there, he has still managed to find some time to take part in various discussion forums elsewhere. One such occasion is coming up on October 17th where John Chen will be attending the Technologies that Matter series forum at the C.K.K. auditorium, Hong Kong Science Park, which is
organised by the MIT Enterprise Forum Hong Kong.
Oct 02, 2014
BlackBerry marketing gets a kick in the pants from advertising and marketing firm Gyro
Have you noticed there has been more marketing coming out of BlackBerry lately? The launch of the BlackBerry Passport has brought forth plenty of new videos, new imagery, new ad placements, new slogans and more. For years now, BlackBerry fans have been asking for marketing muscle from BlackBerry and according to Advertising Age, BlackBerry has heard folks loud and clear and has brought on business-to-business advertising and marketing firm Gyro to help the company remake the brand.
Sep 30, 2014
Forrester Research names BlackBerry a leader in Enterprise Mobile Management
Over the past three months since the launch of the BlackBerry Fact Check portal, BlackBerry has been taking their competitors to task over some of their claims against the company and their offerings but that's sort of to be expected. To hear other, outside parties also claim BlackBerry is a leader in Enterprise Mobile Management is entirely different and that's exactly what Forrester Research has concluded when they compared the most significant mobile device management vendors.
Forrester Research, Inc. evaluated BlackBerry along with 14 other of the most significant mobile device management vendors. BlackBerry earned the highest score in Strategy as well as Global Presence, and tied for the top ranking in Market Presence, which considers revenue, install base and partners. In addition, BlackBerry received the highest possible score in 12 of the 27 criteria measured by Forrester, including Network Security, Future Vision, and Support.
"Security is our cornerstone and BlackBerry remains laser focused on developing and delivering the solutions enterprises around the globe have come to expect from us," said John Sims, President, Global Enterprise Services, BlackBerry. "Our mobility solutions are in government agencies and enterprises around the world because customers trust the experience we've built over the decades. With current and future BlackBerry offerings, we will leverage our experience in security to create solutions that meet the evolving needs of our customers, from cross-platform support for BYOD programs to the management of Internet of Things."
Forrester Research also noted in the report, "Continued investments in collaboration applications and a strong vision that incorporates a strategy for Internet of Things management and automotive support have placed BlackBerry in a Leader position."
Sep 26, 2014
BlackBerry Q2 earnings: Convincing evidence the company is back on the road to success
Here we are again. Another quarter has gone by and BlackBerry has reported another set of financial results. I look forward to these reports. I enjoy breaking down what can often seem like complex stuff into something that novice investors can understand. I enjoy being able to focus on what matters.
Before I go into the numbers, let's have a quick glance at the markets. As I write this, BlackBerry stock is up about one percent, but it has been as much as 5% higher at times. The overall market is up about half a percent, and names such as Google, Apple and Microsoft are also up slightly. For a smaller name like BlackBerry to be up only marginally more than the market tells me Wall Street doesn't really think much of the results.
Sep 18, 2014
BlackBerry to expand BBM Money services in Indonesia to Android and iOS
Although BBM Money was announced back in 2013, we've not really heard much about it on a large level but BlackBerry is now finally ready to make some more moves with it and has announced a series of new initiatives today that will enhance the mobile payment capabilities for users of BBM. Initiatives they note will, take the ability to connect and share using BBM Money one step further and introduce BBM Money to Android and iOS smartphone users in Indonesia.
BlackBerry has also announced a new partnership with TransferTo, the leading global provider of international airtime remittance, which will enable users to send prepaid mobile credit to their contacts overseas, seamlessly from within the BBM app. TransferTo works with over 350 MNO's in 100+ countries, reaching over 3.6 billion prepaid users. Additionally, the new BBM Money app will enable payments in participating retail stores and online, while continuing to benefit from bank-grade security measures including passcodes and encryption while also leveraging BlackBerry security.
Sep 16, 2014
BlackBerry and Tango Networks team up for global partnership
BlackBerry continues to quietly forge new partnership deals and another has just been announced via Tango Networks. The Tango Networks solution, now a part of BlackBerry's Enterprise ISV Reseller Program, is available to customers direct from BlackBerry and its value-added reseller network. Tango Networks' portfolio of Business Mobility Solutions offered through BlackBerry includes:
Sep 15, 2014
AIESEC Canada's Executive team uses BlackBerry Z30 smartphones to improve collaboration and productivity
BlackBerry has now announced a new partnership with AIESEC Canada wherein over the next 12 months, AIESEC Canada's seven-person executive team will be equipped with BlackBerry Z30 smartphones to help them manage their demanding schedule and document their experiences. The AIESEC executive team will utilize BBM, BBM Video and Screen Share, among other BlackBerry 10 productivity applications, as they visit 30 university campuses across Canada and travel to international conferences.
Aug 18, 2014
BlackBerry appoints Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu President of BlackBerry Technology Solutions Business Unit
Here's a way to kick off a Monday. BlackBerry has now announced they've opened up a new portion of business called BlackBerry Technology Solutions business unit and heading up BTS is Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu, who formerly worked as President of Ericsson Mobile Platforms and CTO at Sony-Ericsson.
Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen said, "I am very pleased that Sandeep has joined BlackBerry to lead BTS. QNX, Certicom and Paratek are strategic and technically innovative assets with significant potential to address the much wider global markets for secure, reliable communications and embedded applications. Project Ion creates an application platform that enables secure and collaborative machine-to-machine communication required by the growing number of end-to-end, Internet of Things applications. Our broad global portfolio of 44,000 patents is of value to several industry segments. Combining all these assets into a single business unit led by Sandeep will create operational synergies and new revenue streams, furthering our turnaround strategy."
The BTS business unit comprises BlackBerry's innovative technology assets, including: QNX (embedded software), Project Ion (Internet of Things application platform), Certicom (cryptography applications), and Paratek (RF antenna tuning), as well as BlackBerry's extensive patent portfolio.
Aug 05, 2014
BlackBerry restructuring now 'completed' according to leaked memo
BlackBerry's three-year-long internal restructuring process is now "completed," according to a leaked memo obtained by Reuters, and the company could soon begin hiring again in some areas. The memo, sent by CEO John Chen to all employees, reads "We have completed the restructuring notification process, and the workforce reduction that began three years ago is now behind us."
Jul 17, 2014
BlackBerry CEO John Chen heading up Security Summit on July 29th in New York
BlackBerry has been doing a lot recently to reinforce the fact security is important in Enterprise mobility where they remain the market leader but to help push it even further, BlackBerry CEO John Chen and his senior leadership team, BlackBerry partners, customers and industry experts are hosting an exclusive Security Summit on July 29th in New York.
Discussions and demos will address today's security threats, future security risks associated with the Internet of Things, investments in mobile security and security imperatives for regulated industries such as healthcare, financial services and government.
Attendees will hear best practices for implementing secure mobile communications and learn about the latest steps BlackBerry is taking to reinforce its leadership in delivering the most secure end-to-end enterprise mobility solutions.
It's hard to say if there will be any announcements during the event but any time John Chen is around you never know what's going to happen. Unfortunately, I won't be attending the event personally but we'll be sending Adam to make sure we (and you all!) don't miss out on anything. Hopefully, John Chen will be willing to show off the BlackBerry Passport and Classic some more as well but we'll have to wait and see.
Jul 16, 2014
Could the Apple/IBM enterprise mobility deal bring Microsoft or Google closer to BlackBerry?
Yesterday IBM and Apple announced the start of a significant courtship that stands to forever change the landscape of enterprise mobility. In short, Apple and IBM launched an exclusive deal by which IBM will sell iPhones and iPads to its enterprise customer base, create iOS apps and services, and launch other cloud solutions including mobile device management (MDM).
That last bit … cloud hosted MDM … sounds a lot like it could be a major competitive threat to BlackBerry, right? That's how it's being represented across most of the media thus far. The street has reacted similarly as well, with BBRY shares trading down nearly 12% today. I don't think it's quite so cut and dry.
Jul 11, 2014
BlackBerry stock is close to a new 52-week high
In the weeks since BlackBerry's latest earnings announcement the stock has climbed significantly higher. It was trading in the $8 range (all figures in USD) prior to the quarterly news, and has now advanced to $11.43 as I write this. This week the stock reached a high of $11.63, which is very close to the company's 52-week high of $12.18.
Today was a pretty awesome day for BlackBerry and BlackBerry fans all around. Yesterday BlackBerry announced their partnership deal with Amazon and that was pretty awesome as well, but for some folks it felt like a precursor to some possibly bad news waiting within BlackBerry's earnings report. Get the good news out because there's probably some not so good news coming. However, anyone who did have that on their mind was pretty quickly proven wrong for even thinking that.
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 16 Aug 2013 12:47 pm EDT
Today I enjoyed reading an article from my friend Hugo Miller over at Bloomberg. He nicely summarizes the fact that Thorsten Heins stands to make $55.6 million in the event that BlackBerry is sold, and he is ousted as CEO. The details are all spelled out in a proxy filing from May.
I’ve read through the Bloomberg story and the proxy filing. The situation is fairly complex, and I haven’t...
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 14 Aug 2013 2:30 pm EDT
Early Monday morning things started off with a bang. BlackBerry announced that it’s board of directors had established a special committee to look at strategic alternatives including a possible sale of the company. I already discussed the matter briefly here and also here.
I’ve been reading lots of the other news stories and watching some of the video clips. I notice that pretty much every...
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 12 Aug 2013 10:11 pm EDT
Today I had a read through a report from Gus Papageorgiou from Scotiabank. On the back of the announcement of a special committee to explore strategic alternatives, he raised his target price on the stock. His new target is $14.20, up from $12.50 previously.
In his report, he comments on the higher probability of a sale of the company or a strategic partnership versus a going private transaction...
Today BlackBerry dropped the news that the board of directors has formed a special committee that consists of Barbara Stymiest, Thorsten Heins, Richard Lynch and Bert Nordberg, and will be chaired by Timothy Dattels. The committee will have the task of exploring possible new venues for BlackBerry including partnerships, joint ventures and possible even a sale of the company.
We're been hearing...
BlackBerry has announced today that the board of directors has formed a special committee to "explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment". The plan for the committee is to explore possible ventures for BlackBerry and BlackBerry 10 including possible joint ventures, partnerships or even a sale of the company.
The committee is...
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 9 Aug 2013 9:31 am EDT
Late last night, Reuters published a story suggesting that BlackBerry’s board of directors may actually be opening up to the idea of going private. So in good CrackBerry form, I thought I should write up something that explains what it means and how it might change things for the company if it happens.
Let me start by saying this: I don’t think BlackBerry is going private anytime soon. I don’t...
A new report from Reuters suggests that's the case according to some of their infamous sources familiar with the situation. This isn't the first time we've heard such a thing either. It's been a topic of discussion for quite some time now but nothing has ever really come of it. However, if Reuters sources are correct there could be something to it eventually:
"There is a change of tone on the...
Digging around the CrackBerry Forums today, one thread I spotted that was getting some serious traffic was the news from CBC that three more senior executives would be exiting BlackBerry. Taking a look through the list of those departing, one has already apparently been gone for over a month now and can be found working at Amazon yet, the information is just now coming about. The other two,...
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 5 Aug 2013 7:41 am EDT
Ever since Thorsten Heins took over as the CEO of BlackBerry, there have been two big stated goals. The first was to make a comeback in smartphones, on the back of BlackBerry 10. The second was to be a clear leader in mobile computing, not just smartphones. Mobile computing includes machine to machine (M2M) communication.
The BlackBerry 10 smartphone comeback is something the company is quite...
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 30 Jul 2013 7:12 pm EDT
Yesterday news came out from industry research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech showing that BlackBerry’s US share of the smartphone market slipped to a miniscule 1.1% compared to an already painful 4% in the year ago period. The data accounts for US smartphone sales, not installed base, and covers three month period ending June 2013.
It’s clear that BlackBerry has been suffering in the US market...
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