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 28, 2014
BlackBerry Classic launch apparently moved to December
Since April, BlackBerry fans looking to get their hands on a BlackBerry Classic have had a November timeframe of release to look toward based on comments from BlackBerry CEO John Chen, but it seems somewhere along the line, that launch window changed a bit and we'll have to wait a bit longer.
Oct 27, 2014
John Chen discusses the keys to executing a turnaround the right way
When John Chen took over as BlackBerry CEO back in November of 2013, he noted at the time that he was looking 'forward to leading BlackBerry in its turnaround and business model transformation for the benefit of all of its constituencies, including its customers, shareholders and employees'. That was a strong statement to make, but it showed he had immense confidence in the fact that he could actually do it. Now, the CEO has taken to LinkedIn to share some of his common strategies for executing a turnaround the right way.
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.
Last night some stories were floating around stating that BlackBerry CEO, John Chen would "consider dumping" the handset business if that portion of the company remains unprofitable. Fact of the matter is, that's not the case — "my comments were taken out of context," he says.
Chen says he has no intention of selling off the handset business, and that the focus of the company is trying to make...
Speaking to Reuters, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company would consider dumping the handset division. This would only be the case if the unit remained unprofitable. The company is also looking at broadening its corporate reach by considering strategic partnerships and acquisitions.
Here's John Chen on BlackBerry's mobile phone outlook if the unit can't be a money maker:
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 8 Apr 2014 12:22 pm EDT
While the new BlackBerry CEO hasn’t been at the company very long, he’s made a lot of changes and most of us agree that he’s been very effective so far.
Lately, on the legal front, he’s shown that BlackBerry won’t take any crap from anyone. The company successfully stopped Typo from selling their iPhone case after convincing a judge that BlackBerry would likely win a lawsuit. The injunction...
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 2 Apr 2014 9:20 am EDT
Last Friday we had a chance to look at the Q4 financials for BlackBerry, and the CrackBerry team held a podcast to talk about it. Were we all doom and gloom? I don’t think it was quite that negative, but we are keeping it balanced and considering the good and bad areas of the business when we talk. No sugar coating.
Over the weekend I did some more thinking about BlackBerry, while enjoying...
With the BlackBerry Q4 financial results now known, there's been plenty of talk about the strategies BlackBerry CEO John Chen has been putting in place. Everything from the release of the 'Classic' device to the new production run of the BlackBerry 7 Bold series to the level of new BBM users has been under the microscope and in an effort to get the message out there, John Chen sat down with CBC...
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 28 Mar 2014 2:49 pm EDT
This morning BlackBerry published Q4 results for fiscal 2014 and held the usual analyst conference call. I’ll go through the results here, and I’d like to invite you to post your comments below.
First of all, John Chen did a great job of communicating on the call. I really like this guy as the CEO. When he speaks it’s obvious that he understands the issues that are bothering shareholders. He...
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 28 Mar 2014 7:44 am EDT
A few minutes ago BlackBerry issued its press release with financial results for Q4. As usual it’s a good news / bad news situation, and the conference call is in less than half an hour. I’ll come back afterwards with a more detailed review.
Until then here are a few things I noticed.
Revenue was weaker than analysts expected. Consensus estimates were $1.11 billion but the company generated...
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 26 Mar 2014 3:55 pm EDT
Last night, in BlackBerry-related news, we found out that the well-regarded Senior VP of Software, Sebastien Marineau, has resigned from BlackBerry to accept a position of VP of Core OS at Apple. BlackBerry felt that its soon-to-be former executive violated their agreement so they brought the matter before the courts and prevailed.
For those unaware, Sebastien Marineau came over as part of...
Leaks are nothing new in the BlackBerry world — they've been around forever and are just part of the game. Sure, they've slowed down a lot in the last few years, but every now and then we'll see an unreleased device, image or OS show up with some juicy new info to feed the rumor mill.
Until now, BlackBerry hasn't really made any public gestures against leaks or the leakers. CEO John Chen took...
Posted by Chris Umiastowski on 25 Mar 2014 8:05 am EDT
This Friday morning BlackBerry will report the final quarter of the company’s fiscal 2014 results. As usual, I’ll remind you that yes, it is really the end of their 2014 year since they have a February year end to their fiscal year.
To set the stage for the announcement, let’s take a quick look back at what happened last quarter. The company reported only $1.2 billion in revenue for Q3, which...
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