What you need to know about Prem Watsa and Fairfax Financial

By Chris Umiastowski on 24 Sep 2013 03:39 pm EDT

With yesterday’s news about Fairfax Financial making an official attempt to BlackBerry private, we realize not everyone knows much about Fairfax Fiancial, who they are or what they do. We thought we’d put together a quick post on Fairfax and its highly successful CEO, Prem Watsa.

Fairfax Financial is a property, casualty and life insurance company based out of Toronto. The company has been around (under various names) since 1951 and has over 8,200 employees. As of 2010 Fairfax had total assets of around $31.7 billion. The company has their hand in various large investments ranging from Overstock.com to Alliance Insurance.  

Prem Watsa is a 63 year old highly successful CEO and investor who controls almost half of Fairfax.  Born and then orphaned in India, he went on to excel in school.  He’s a chemical engineer, an MBA and he also holds a CFA (chartered financial analysts) designation.  When he came to Canada, he reportedly did so with only $8 in his pocket.  There is no doubt this man deserves all kinds of respect.

The CrackBerry nation knows Watsa because he was on the board of BlackBerry for a while before leaving in August, but he’s most well known as the CEO of Fairfax Financial. He’s known as Canada’s Warren Buffet, and reportedly he predicted the stock market crash of 1987, the US housing collapse of 2008 and other major global financial disasters.

The comparison between Warren Buffet and Prem Watsa comes because both men are value focused investors.  Interestingly, though, Warren Buffet tends to avoid technology stocks.  It’s well known that Buffett claims to not really “get” technology so he stays away from it.  Watsa, on the other hand, made a major bet on Research In Motion (prior to the name change to BlackBerry) and amassed a 10% position in the company.  Fairfax Financial holds more of BlackBerry than its founder, Mike Lazaridis, who owns about 5.7% of the shares.

So far, Watsa’s bet on BlackBerry has not paid off.  As excellent of a track record as Watsa has, it’s quite possible that technology isn’t his forte, and that this investment could end badly for him, and for FairFax.

In January of 2012, Prem Watsa joined the board of directors of then-named Research In Motion at the request of Mike Lazaridis.  The two men met at the University of Waterloo, where Lazaridis was chancellor prior to Watsa.

According to a story in Canada’s Financial Post Watsa joined only after he was assured that Lazaridis and his “technology genius” would not be leaving the company. Lazaridis and former co-CEO Jim Balsillie had already announced they were stepping down.  But both men were still on the board of directors and Lazaridis was also the chair of the board’s new “innovation committee”.

When the Financial Post interviewed Watsa upon his board appointment, he told them, “Mike’s not going anywhere…. If he were going to retire, I would not have gone on the board.”  Fourteen months later Lazaridis announced his retirement, leaving BlackBerry behind but still holding his shares.

Prem Watsa resigned his board seat this summer, concurrent with BlackBerry announcing the formation of a special committee to explore strategic options. We hadn't heard much from him regarding the company after his departure until the news broke that Fairfax Financial has agreed to buy BlackBerry for $4.7 billion.

Reader comments

What you need to know about Prem Watsa and Fairfax Financial



I think this is Lazaridis and Watsa's way of saying "SEE! I TOLD YOU SO!!" to the board and Thor's unsuccessful plans with BB10. Now they want their baby back, which in a way worries me they have too much of an emotional connection to the company that would keep them blind from the reality and will eventually run everything to the ground (or even underground). I even think BBM MutiPlatform was halted to "help" with this privatization process keeping stock down....
Opinions of a concerned BlackBerry supporter, Fan & User.

And Friday will be even worse knews than that is known, which will lead to a blood bath in the stock. And ultimately making $9 a share look like a bargin.

Ask you guys a question, why would the stock price hover around $8.50ish when there is an offer from fairfax to pay shareholders $9 for each shares? Is it because traders think the deal might not come through? It sounds to me like the deal is pretty much final. What reasons are there for this situation on the stock price? Thanks.

Prem has no obligation to get this over the finish line. The detailed numbers that come out on Friday could easily drive the stock price down, and Prem could decide not to close the deal, or to lower his bid. The Street thinks that outcome is more likely than not, as reflected in the stock price. If this WAS a done deal, you could guaranty yourself a nice return if you bought the stock now - clearly, an efficient market place couldn't tolerate such a sure thing...

Thanks. I read the press release more thoroughly and you're right, the deal is not final.

A line from the blackberry press release:
"There can be no assurance that due diligence will be satisfactory, that financing will be obtained, that a definitive agreement will be entered into or that the transaction will be consummated."

I still think blackberry is worth more than $9 per share. They have about $1.5b worth of real estate, $2.6b of cash, patents, bbm, 25thousand companies that installed BES10. Bbm and BES10 can make this company profitable. This company still has some value.

I totally agree. AND. No one has mentioned QNX in this whole thing. I swear I read through a lot of comments......What about QNX folks.....There is so much VALUE in that alone....\

always remember that a things value, over a certain window of time, equals the maximum price one is willing to pay, to acquire the thing...does not matter how much we think it costs, if there is no one to buy, there is no market, no liquidity, no price, no value. got it?

That's only kind of true. Don't forget the cash flow. Just because no one want to pay me for my illiquid asset doesn't mean it doesn't have value. Private companies may have no liquidity or no market price but that doesn't mean there is no value. Just because I am the only person willing to make an offer on your dollar bill and my proposed price is 40 cents it doesn't mean it is worth only 40 cents. It means I hope you are stupid enough and/or desperate enough to believe 40 cents is a fair price.

Their annual report lists the value of "Land" and "Buildings, leasehold improvements and other" at $129 and $1,392 respectively *at cost*. That is before amortization. Land is not subject to amortization but the rest is amortized on a straight-line basis over 5 to 40 years. I don't know if Zander can explain why he thinks the full "at cost" valuation makes more sense. I personally would suspect the true value lies somewhere in between the cost and the amortized value shown from an accounting perspective.

I'm thinking of loading up on shares if there is another bloodbath on Friday...specially now that there is a little bit of safety net with Fairfax offer of $9per share...

I agree that the intrinsic value should be far higher than $9 per share. The problem is that in order to realize that value you have to stem the bleeding, or chop the company and sell the pieces. If Prem withdraws his deal, the stock price will fall. A lot. Tread cautiously, my friend. This stock is very dangerous right now.

yup agreed. It's a gamble and I would only play with money I don't mind losing. With it's $2.6b cash and $1.5b assets (real estate), the company is a solid $7.95 per share. Cash can dwindle fast but at the moment, i see that as the base price. Anything lower than that is a potential bargain. But yes, if watsa withdraws his offer, then that means blackberry is stuck in it's downward spiral, bleeding value and cash.

...the bet is, fairfax owns 10% of the shares so watsa would not want blackberry to be stuck in that downward spiral.

IMO, the 50 cents/share spread represents the risk investors are willing to take on offer going through (with making a bit of profit of course). Actually 50 cents is only a 5.5% spread, people seem pretty confident I think.

It is, and has been for years, evident to me (and anybody who really understands how commercial software development works) that RIM could always make good hardware. But, they absolutely suck at delivering quality software in a timely fashion. OS updates for my first BB (a Pearl) were my first clue on that. Back then, though, they were still the best smartphone available. I went through 2 more BB phones before I jumped ship to have 4G LTE speeds at my disposal (which was/is HUGE when you're on the road and tethering a laptop and/or tablet). RIM sucked at delivering quality software then, and they have continued to suck at it ever since. Slow updates, and even then you know there's a problem with the software division when Tech Support has a standard, first line response of "pull the battery and put it back in."

Inability to deliver a useful set of applications for the Playbook is another prime example. It was released without its own email client? And then took how long to finally release an update that included the basics (like email)?

The suckitude continued with BB10. How long was it in the works? How long did we hear "we're going to release in 2 months"?

Mike and Jim are hardware guys. They (apparently) had no know-how on building a successful software division to keep up with their hardware. Maybe they just didn't know how to identify and hire the right people to run that side for them. Or maybe they weren't savvy enough to let those people do what needed to be done. Regardless, it looks to me like Watsa is buying the company so he can hack it up and sell of the pieces for salvage, to try and recoup some of his investment. But, if he keeps it together and Lazaridis gets back in charge, I'd be really surprised if the company suddenly completes an internal software development revolution and starts churning out high quality stuff and quickly. My expectation is that they will have too many years of bad internal software development infrastructure (bad processes, key people that aren't really competent in their roles but there's no one with the necessary knowledge to replace them with, requirements for supporting old platforms that will suck the life out their people who are competent, core components that would be too costly to redevelop but that are badly architected or engineered) in play to be successful at that.

It's a shame because BB smartphones used to be The Best smartphones you could get - and I'm talking about when evaluated in terms of what you could actually accomplish using one. In particular, tasks germane to a business professional.

Are you serious?! As referenced many times previously in these posts and forums. BB10 was developed from the ground up in how many months? And it powering the BlackBerry devices provide great pieces of kit that are getting better and better in the few months they've been on the market. Compare that to the years of development and improvement iOS and Android have had.

Posted via CB10

Clearly, you do not understand how commercial software development works. Otherwise, you would understand the truth of what I said. But, since I am sure you are not the only one that needs further explanation, I will be happy to oblige.

The issue is not how quickly they delivered BB10. If Windows 7 were developed in half the time, and with half the resources, and delivered in 2015, would that indicate MS knows what it's doing? No. The point is, companies that are good at commercial software development do not JUST develop quality software as quickly as possible (given whatever resources they have). They ALSO look far enough down the road to start projects early enough that they can deliver them soon enough to be relevant. AND, they ALSO do a good enough job in the architecture and engineering that, once a product is developed, they don't spend so much of their development resources maintaining it that it prevents them from starting necessary new projects in a timely fashion.

RIM's number one failure in software development (pertaining to BB10) seems to be not starting it early enough to deliver it about a year earlier than they actually did.

And, BTW, your assertion that BB10 was developed from the ground up is blatantly false. QNX was extant and mature when they started working on BB10.

Android also did not start from the ground. They started with Linux. But, consider this question: How long did RIM spend working on the OS for the Playbook prior to its initial release? Let's say it was 3 years, just for the sake of argument. Now, consider an Android phone that you could buy 3 years after Google started working on Android. Which one would let you accomplish more tasks? The Playbook (as it was initially released) or the Android phone? I'm not trying to blow the Android Horn here. I'm just giving another example of how RIM has shown time and time again that they didn't and don't know how to deliver quality software in a timely fashion.

You really should get your facts straight. First QNX was purchased in 2010 and the playbook came out inJune 2011. so that was 12 - 18 months not 3 years. so BB10 was released about 2.5 - 3 years after QNX was purchased. So in 3 years BB made an OS that is up to par with ios and android when it took them 7-10 years to get there. Your right 10.1 dropping 3 months after shows how BB didn't think of it. Come think of it 10.2 is really similar.

PS if you are going to include the development time for BB10 you need to do same thing for android.

PSS android started development in 2003. so to answer your question i would choose BB10. since it took android 5 years to get to markey BB10 had more features than android did after 3 years of development.

How can you argue that BBRY knows software when they botched their cross platform messenger app so badly? You should also consider that the issue of BBM crossplatform was supposedly being worked on continuously even before the announcement it will become cross-platform. It is simply inexcusable that they cannot deliver a messenger app on time.

You may argue that BB10 is on par with Android or iOS, but the simple fact remains that, practically, it cannot run on the Playbook and cannot run on less than 2 GB of RAM. This has doomed any profitability for lower end phones.

They didn't botch up BBM.... Unreleased/leaked BBM/Malware was submitted to the Google Play store which caused issues for the official BBM.

Posted via CB10

They built beta software without a way to disable just that beta software from working. In the commercial software industry, particularly for what that software was for, that was a COLOSSAL eff-up!

BB's own press release about why they had to stop the rollout on Saturday said that they couldn't block the beta software without also blocking the software they were trying to officially release. And, worse, that it would take a week (?) or more to fix things so that they can! That is total bush league right there!

As the previous members commented BBM for Android was not botch job.

But specifically, why would anyone design anything to work on a lower grade device!? It's like ferrari coming out with a 5,000 horse power engine and its super efficient on fuel but some dummy say "oh but we have to build a better frame and engine mounts, OOOOH we can't do that, cause we like the weaker frame!".

Get a life...

Posted from CB10 via Zed10.

I guess you don't know what "for the sake of argument" means? I did not assert that BB had 3 years in before they released the PB.

Anyway, you can nitpick all you want, while burying your head in the sand about my actual points. Which all support my statement that RIM has never been able to deliver high quality software quickly and when it was relevant. Software to make the PB what it should have been at release came many months after the PB was released. And, really, the PB should have released about 6 months before it did - AND have the later software (that had email, duh!) included from the beginning.

BB10 might have been relevant (to the market) if it had released about a year earlier than it did. If that meant RIM needed to start a year sooner, so be it.

Ok enough kids. The mistake was to think BB10 as a new platform was going to fly out of he gates and take over. That wasn't going to happen. Now they are going to do what they should have done in the first place. Focus on the enterprise, get bb10 devices in the hands of employees, it grows from there. Guess what? I switched my company to z10 devices....I supply my employees the devices and pay the bills. They love their z10's. Best phone they ever had, ask anyone of them. In fact, their spouses and kids, on their own tab have the devices. We have built our own BBM community. This is how BlackBerry is going to grow the business. Sell enterprise, test enterprise, give out 1 billion dollars of z10 into the corporate world, reap the rewards on the on going BES10 revenues and the consumer spin off sales. It isn't rocket science. It is BlackBerry's strength, and it will work.....thats what Prem is going to do.....that is a great strategy.

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

@ Play - Great points. I have always wondered why "Business Owners/Executives" are so gung ho to get iToys to their workers so they have "so many more apps to play with during the work day to affect their productivity levels"... can anyone explain that to me...

Because many CIOs aren't very savvy technically and they can't justify to their boss having an iToy for themselves unless they are also willing to let their underlings have them as well.

In other words, many CIOs want the shiny new iToy for themselves, so they kind of have to let the people under them have them, too.

I should add that there are also some perfectly competent CIOs out there who also choose to support iPhones. Those would include ones whose organization has chosen to use LOB-specific (Line Of Business) apps that are only available on iOS - and iPads, in particular.

"Sell enterprise, test enterprise, give out 1 billion dollars of z10 into the corporate world"

The majority of people in the smartphone market have demonstrated that they want an iOS or Android phone. BYOD is becoming more and more common. Even if BB gives a company/agency free phones, free BES software and licenses them to run it for free, there is still expense to the organization.

I'm skeptical that giving away a billion dollars worth of BB10 products and licenses is really going to turn around the BB business. Especially since I'm not the only one in the industry who has recognized the points I made earlier (i.e. that BB has demonstrated repeatedly that they cannot deliver high quality software in a timely fashion, and when it's relevant to the market). They were the market GIANT. And their ineptness at software development was so catastrophic that they are now a blip on the radar. To even get back to parity with iOS and Android they can't just be as good as Apple and Google (at producing high quality, timely software), they have to be WAY BETTER than those guys. And, like I said, I'm very skeptical that they'll prove to be that.

Also like I said before, saying your Z10 is better than an iPhone ain't sayin' much. If my car was better than a Honda Civic, I believe I wouldn't even bother mentioning that....

I respectfully disagree.

Mike and Jim pushed for Thor because he committed to deliver their long term vision.

Prem has said publically his initial investment in RIM (at the time) was a 3-5 year play. They have just finished the first year.

QNX was purchased in 2010, so in 3 years they went from nothing to a full blown phone ecosystem, that based on my experience performs as well or better than any phone on the market -depending on what you do with it, but lacks apps some view as essential.

Prem also has a backbone. When his company was targeted with manipulation based on lies and misconceptions, he sued for $8 billion dollars. While he lost the first round, the company he went after was recently indicted for fraud - so he's going after them again: http://business.financialpost.com/2013/07/25/hedge-fund-sac-capital-indi...

As a shareholder I'm pi$$ed about the current offer because I'm losing money on it. However, if he can turn things around, I'll support him for the following reasons:

- Blackberry did not receive millions to turn customers data over the US government
- The U.S. government is concerned that fewer people are using BlackBerrys (read - other phones are easier to hack)
- The phone does not spread nor is attacked by malware
- Its new 'security feature' (re. Apple fingerprint) was not hacked inside of 24 hours
- Its now the only mobile platform not controlled by the United States
- In under 1 year they'll have two significant updates to the BB10 OS
- They will soon have the most advanced cross platform instant messaging sol'n on the market
- If the M2M communication becomes a reality they're well positioned with the QNX software in 60% of the world's cars, satellites, military systems, medical equipment, nuclear power plants, etc. etc.
- but most importantly, my Z10 beat my coworkers iPhone5 finding songs using Sound Hound - a critical app needed when driving and an awesome song comes on the radio and you need to know who sings it.

How many tomes do I have to tell you guys! When making a statement post, you need to finish it off with a


From my Z10 to YOU, BOO-YAH!

LMAO... thank you for that because with some much doom and gloom lately it good to see people can still keep a sense of humor.

Posted from my Zed10 via CB10, follow my channel C00121C1B

Some people are starting to get it! Very good.

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

Whatever, even if QNX rocks (which i really think it does), this doesn't mean Mike and Jim were not PRESSURED back then to DO SOMETHING and this is what got them to purchase QNX. iPhone and Android pushed them to change which is good, but again, IMO, MIke and Jim stepped down because of board and stock pressure. Thor has done a good job, but I'm sure there was always a PLAN B for BlackBerry = Getting BB private away from the noise and pressure and most of all back to its roots.

"The U.S. government is concerned that fewer people are using BlackBerrys (read - other phones are easier to hack)"

That reads to me like the U.S. government already has full backdoor capability on all BlackBerry phones and they're concerned because people are going to other solutions that the government doesn't have such easy access to.

"- The phone does not spread nor is attacked by malware"

That's just what the Mac folks have always said. Because hackers don't want to bother hacking something that only 5% of the people have.

"- They will soon have the most advanced cross platform instant messaging sol'n on the market"

And who will bother using it? I really liked BBM and used it a LOT when I had a BB. But, now, I don't know anybody personally who has a BB (and I work in the tech industry). And everybody I IM with, well, we all already have IM apps we're happy with (even me, who used BBM a lot), so I doubt anyone that I personally know will bother to install BBM.

"my Z10 beat my coworkers iPhone5 "

Awwww, your phone is the tallest kid in the midget class! ;-)

"That reads to me like the U.S. government already has full backdoor capability on all BlackBerry phones and they're concerned because people are going to other solutions that the government doesn't have such easy access to."

He obviously misspoke, but good point based on semantics...

"That's just what the Mac folks have always said. Because hackers don't want to bother hacking something that only 5% of the people have."

This was the case when they were the only smartphone, with 100% marketshare...

"And who will bother using it? I really liked BBM and used it a LOT when I had a BB. But, now, I don't know anybody personally who has a BB (and I work in the tech industry). And everybody I IM with, well, we all already have IM apps we're happy with (even me, who used BBM a lot), so I doubt anyone that I personally know will bother to install BBM."

1.1 million Android users downloaded a leaked copy in 8 hours. Lots of people want to use it.

"Awwww, your phone is the tallest kid in the midget class! ;-)"

Sour grapes. ;)

"This was the case when they were the only smartphone, with 100% marketshare..."

And do you know what the hurdles were back then to be able to do development for BB? And how much bigger the smartphone market is, now, than it was back then? Personally, I'm not surprised nobody was developing hacks for BBs back then.

"1.1 million Android users downloaded a leaked copy in 8 hours"

That is a drop in the bucket of all smartphone users. And cannot be used (validly) to extrapolate any future amount of downloads. So, we'll just have to wait and see how many people are using it, say, 2 months after they finally get the release right.

"Sour grapes. ;)"

Not sure how I qualify for that. I don't have an iPhone... And, your Z10 MAY be faster than my phone at some things (doubt it, though). But, I'll bet you my phone can do plenty of things yours can't do at all, thanks to my huge selection of available apps, ability to load custom ROMs, 64GB microSD card, 2600mAh battery (which I can swap out if needed, but generally lasts about 24 hours), 5" 1080p screen, quad core CPU and support for having multiple Exchange ActiveSync accounts (does BB10 let you connect to 2 different BES with the same phone yet?).

All I was really trying to say before is that having a phone that is faster and/or better than an iPhone 5 well, just really isn't much to brag about. :-D

Hey @StaurtV,

Clearly you have not used a Z10, nor have you seen one and I highly doubt that you are actually in the tech industry (maybe you are in the "Special tech Ed" industry working on 386 and DOS 3.1. Cause you don't even know the tech spec of any of the 3 bb10 on the market, or the iPhones. Just cause you and the rest of your 40year old buddies get together everday to play World of Warcraft for 18hours a day, doesn't make you eligible to say "I work in the tech industry "!

Couple of comments back you stated that bb10 is so big that BlackBerry can't sell cheap phones with lower tech specs and now you are gloating about tech specs? - which btw is NOT very impressive, I mean I could have a quad core cpu, but what's the point of it if it's useless, heck I'll put in 6 quad cores and run DOS shell and I'll be all cool like you! Any self respecting tech guy would not only research the tech specs of what they speak against (at the very least) but also would find out of the quality of components used and overall engineering quality!

That's why you put your phone in an otter case and I don't. BlackBerry is quality, in and out. Dropped it many times, but STILL WORKS LIKE A CHAMP, and no broken screen thanks to the design (see real technology people think of longevity and quality). Drop your phone once and your speaker or earpiece or headphone will stop working and don't forget about the design flaw in EVERY SINGLE FULL TOUCHSCREEN PHONE OUT THERE (except BlackBerry), the easy to break glass screen

2 BES, what? What, did you just mean by that? I can have millions of BES connections on one device but what's points, why would anyone need to have 2, 3, or a million BES accounts on a device, what does that achieve if I could or not, there is no point. Do you even know what BES is? Trust me you don't, so stop trying to fake it, you have no clue!

Ooh and btw active sync, nothing new on a BlackBerry been there done that before you could find your Richard! And not just two accounts, but more.

Again I tell you: GET A LIFE, no one cares about what you think in your mom's basement wearing racing strip undies, playing WOW!

Posted from CB10 via Zed10.

Hi edriss (<-- oh, look! I can read and spell your screen name correctly!),

You are correct. I have not used a Z10, and only seen one in a store. But, technical specs that I referenced were obtained from here:


"you stated that bb10 is so big that BlackBerry can't sell cheap phones with lower tech specs "

Ummm, nope. Wasn't me. Maybe when you get to 9th Grade Reading, you'll be able to figure that one out on your own.

"BlackBerry is quality, in and out. Dropped it many times"

Do you have a nervous system disorder or something that causes you to drop your phone? Is that also a factor in your trouble with reading comprehension?

I have never broken, cracked, or otherwise damaged the screen on one of my phones.

"2 BES, what? What, did you just mean by that?"

And you want me (or anybody else) to believe you actually know what you're talking about when it comes to BlackBerrys?

To be clear, the last time I owned a BB, I had my own BES server for my Exchange server, so that I could sync my email, contacts, calendar, etc., to my phone. At the same time, I had an email account on my biggest client's Exchange server, and they also had BES. I would have LIKED to be able to have my BB connected to their BES also, so that I could have my email, contacts, and calendar from my client's Exchange server also synced to my phone. But, at least at that time, you could not do that. Then I switched to a different kind of phone and was instantly able to use ActiveSync to do exactly what I wanted. And I eliminated the extra expense I had to keep a BES going for my own domain's Exchange server (since ActiveSync is included with Exchange at no extra cost). If BB now allows you to have your phone active on 2 (or more) different BES at once, that is a great improvement! Too bad they couldn't do it back when I switched to a different platform that could. Mind you, I still would have switched, since I needed 4G LTE and RIM was incredibly late to that game as well.

Btw mr.tech guy, there are companies that all the do is find security vulnerabilities. Aka hacking. NSA anyone?

And if you don't think the NSA has been tapped into BB communications for quite a while, then you are even more delusional than you first appeared. Which is saying a LOT!

BTW, for at least the last 3 years, I have been publicly predicting that RIM would go exactly the way they have gone. 2 years ago, what were you predicting for RIM's future? Could you even spell RIM back then?

You just tried to respond to a comment full of actual facts with your own non-sense.
BBM didn't even release properly and 1.1 million people downloaded it before they shut it down. You and your friends might start getting lonely on whatever IM app you use. Don't try to bring the community down, when this guy is cheering us all up

Posted via CB10

Mike and Jim? Where is Jim? Jim and Mike had a falling out in 2012 and that is why Jim is no longer there. Jim wanted to transition the NOC and open BBM, Mike L and TH blocked the plan. Jim foresaw that BB10 was not going anywhere.

Then you should know that Mike L did not show absolutely any vision with respect to QNX; in fact, it was Dan Dodge, co-fonder of QNX, who begged Mike L. to buy the company as he was at odds at Harman Kardon. Read an interview with Dodge, where he says Mike L did not trust QNX, but made Dodge deliver the Playbook to "prove" QNX can do mobile.

You may believe what you want to believe about the US government but since Blackberry is a Canadian company with servers in the US, the N.S.A. has absolutely no problems to either issue a secret court order and get access to their servers or inflitrate the company, backdoor any security encryption scheme, intercept and backdoor any hardware it wants.

With respect to this M2M fantasy, QNX is a tiny 200-person shop with an embedded RTOS (not even the leader which is VxWorks) that survives by basically licensing its software to Panasonic, etc. Tier-1 Auto supliers. it's revenues are reportedly 50 MM per year (revenues!). Do you think Harman Kardon sold them not knowing that QNX is in "atellites, military systems, medical equipment, nuclear power plants, etc. etc." Do you think they are so stupid? Enough with this QNX will save the world fantasy.

I don't believe I made any claims about how the company was run, or how it got to where it is today. They made mistakes, plenty of them, all well documented. So did Microsoft, so did Apple, so did Palm, and the beat goes on. Some companies recover and flourish, some do not. Palm had a great OS, but a great OS is not enough to insure survival. The question investors need to ask themselves is 'does Blackberry offer something different enough that will allow it to compete and thrive?" I believe they do.

You're correct about Dan Dodge approaching Mike, in fact here's the link to the article you're likely referencing: http://m.therecord.com/news-story/2614381-qnx-founder-confident-blackber... I disagree with your comment that he did not trust QNX. Paying $200 million seems like a pretty big vote of confidence to me. To invest and take a chance on QNX is a pretty good indicator Mike knew their platform at the time was not sustainable.

As for security, the only thing to go buy are the leaked documents and the fact the Obama still uses a Blackberry, we'll have to see what the next leader uses.

As for QNX vs. VxWorks, both are real time embedded operating systems, one's owned by Intel, the other by BlackBerry. From what I can tell they are pretty much equals in this space as far as capabilities go. As for Harman Kardon, I don't recall using any negative comments to describe their decision to sell QNX. From what I can tell it was a good move for both them and BlackBerry. I also don't recall saying QNX will save the world, but if you take Steve Jobs view of the world, software is the business to be in, not hardware. QNX is a software play, and from what I can tell, they and VxWorks are two of the leaders. What I like about BlackBerry's prospects is the synergy of the software and mobile technologies. None of the other major mobile players Microsoft, Apple or Android bring to the table the combination of an embedded real time operating system and mobile communications. Blackberry had vision and brought us the smartphone. Apple had vision and took things to the next level, Android copied Apple but made it available to the masses and Microsoft has the funds to keep trying until they get it right. I'm not sure most people are aware that behind each one of these success stories was years, not months, but years of development to break through. We're all free to have our own opinions, I believe BlackBerry, given time, will surprise many.

As for QNX's 200 employees, think about this for a moment, if only 200 employees were able to put together a whole new operating system in under two years - that also runs Android software, while still supporting the rest of their customers, that's one efficient team and I look forward to see where the take things.

I agree with many things in your post. And maybe I am a bit too harsh.

The security aspect I will leave aside; however, the fact Obama uses a Blackberry really tells you that the NSA "owns," figuratively speaking, Blackberry: they would not be using it if they did not feel they had absolute control over it. Let's just say there is security and security -- secuirty from the NSA (non-existent); security from low-level criminals, i.e. not affiliated with foreign governments, and corporate espionage below the very big boys (yes, absolutely, ahead of Android, Apple, Windows (I am not sure)).

I mostly agree with your thinking in the grand scheme of this: it all comes to the right mix of talent and vision and timing, doesn't it. However, and I am just not sure BBRY has the talent at the moment. I think BB10 has been a failure at the planning level -- too little, too late. On the execution level, it has brought no notable improvement to battery life, RAM requirements, ease of upgradeability, boot time, or usability (subjective), or improved this "mobile computing" or M2M conceptualizing (which I think TH has been shooting off the hip).

The belief that MS saved apple by giving them a cash infusion is a common fallacy. It is true that MS bought a piece of apple, but this was only to give people confidence that Apple would be around in the next couples years. Apple didn't need money, but it needed confidence from one of the big players in the tech industry for people to buy their products again. Blackberry doesn't need money or extra resources. They need someone big to come in and show confidence in their future so people have confidence that the company will be around for their 2 year contract. This is what Prem is doing to a T

Apple needed Office. Microsoft needed Apple to survive so that the DOJ wouldn't break it up. The DOJ should have broken up Microsoft anyway.

On the money !! i just hope they can start being deceive and let let people enjoy Blackberry. Because there are alot of value in BB10 , it can still compete

Ya and marketing. They really could have done something to prevent all the turmoil in the past two weeks before their launch of a new phone a their first cross platform app.

well a press release yesterday where perm watsa stated he was goign to make BlackBerry profitable again, and also he was a board member with 10% of the company before the management failed, as well as a friend of the founder, i wouldn't be surprised if lazaridis comes back

Think about it. If you purchase an asset with the intention of reselling at a profit, of course you're not going to publicly state that the company is worthless. You'd try to create a position of power when negotiating, and posturing as though you aren't necessarily looking to sell is a logical strategy. If anybody thought this company was a turn around, it wouldn't have sold for just the value of assets on hand. They literally put a growth proposition of ZERO on this company with this valuation.

Posted via CB10

What's to negotiate? The board already accepted his offer. He needn't say anything.

He's a "value investor" (look it up). Watsa bought RIM at $50+ because he thought the corporation had value.

It does. More than the "experts" realise. Fortunately for Mr Watsa.

Even in the current state they'll still sell almost 20 million phones this year and generate revenue in the billions. With costs under control the company is a cash cow.

It's the media that talks down BlackBerry, and by going private the motivation is removed leaving the company to complete its turnaround.

oh brother

the invention of the internet has gave to many people to much freedom to talk.

the market valued this stock at 8.25 monday Watsa just bought the company at a steal of a price and why not, pay less money get more out of it, the same why we look for a cheaper price when buying a car or anything else

Also, I don't need to "look it up." I'm pretty familiar with the way markets and acquisitions work. The media isn't the reason BBRY announced an almost 50% cut to their revenue forecast. If you were familiar with the markets, you would know that this is simply unprecedented for a company of this size. That's REVENUE, not earnings. Cuts won't change it. This isn't a "cash cow" and insurance companies don't risk billions in hopes that some unforeseen miracle might turnaround a failing company at some time in the unforeseen future so they can recoup their investment.

Posted via CB10

Well, paying the value of assets on hand is arguably pretty low risk. Over half their investment is represented in the form of cash on hand, then there are patents to be sold, BBM can be likely be segmented off and sold as it's own company (or retained and held as a revenue stream), real estate, the list goes on. Also it's worth noting that Fairfax isn't actually putting up ANY of it's own cash for the deal.

Posted via CB10

You say you understand the concept of a "value investor", but insist that Watsa will break the company up and sell its assets.

Are you sure you know the meaning of "value investor"?

A value investor invests for the long haul. They do careful analysis of the components of a business and buy when the stock is undervalued with the intention of retaining the company, and potentially restructuring or improving management.

Watsa is not an asset stripper! He sees the company as having value as a going concern. It does. But you'd need to do the same research as he to know the nature of that value.

If it's not a cash cow, then why is it that the company is sitting on piles of cash despite being in a death spiral for the past 5 years? If BlackBerry had managed staff levels more efficiently, they'd have been sitting on even more cash.

The fact is they have a moderately sized niche in a global market and can be very profitable - even at current sales volumes!

Managed properly those 20 million phones they sell this year will be 4 billion in sales and services and at least a billion in profit. That's not too shabby. And certainly worth more than $9 a share.

Value investor doesn't necessarily means he sees value in the long term viability of the company as it sits now. It means he sees the company as undervalued in some sense. One example of this is that there is some market precedent to suggest that their patent portfolio is undervalued. There is also the very real possibility of BBM being a viable revenue stream as a spin-off, perhaps even ultimately public. Basically anything being undervalued can garner the interest of a value investor. But the likelihood of him seeing Blackberry as a whole, as it sits now as being undervalued amidst steadily decreasing marketshare in the consumer market is very low.

Posted via CB10

So you think that when he bought in at around $50 he was doing so because he wanted to tear the company apart?

This despite the fact that as recently as yesterday the President of Fairfax said that turning BlackBerry around could take 5 years, and they were only into the first year.

Prem Watsa wants to keep BlackBerry together. A BBM sell off is one thing, but he sees value in producing phones and integrating them with the BlackBerry eco-system.

Just because you see little value in BlackBerry, doesn't mean anyone else doesn't. Once BlackBerry is freed from the stranglehold of hedge funds and analysts they'll be able to implement the strategy they've started.

Back in 1997 a struggling tech company was about to go under, when a competitor invested $150 million and saved the company from going bust.

That tech company was Apple. I don't suppose you'd have thought they had any value either.

That 50% drop was only after they did a (sudden and unexpected) change to the way they recognized revenues (from phoned shipped to phones end sold). They ACTUALLY sold 5.9 million phones in q2 (not 3.7 million, like everyone says), but 2.2 million of those sales were already shipped and therefore booked as revenue in the previous quarter. How many phones were shipped not sold in q2? We don't know. Presumably at least a million, maybe more. If they booked revs like they did the previous quarter then likely it would have come in over 2b and a 30-35% drop. Not good at all, but already priced in by the market, imho...also they took a $1b write down on inventory...that equates to a $250 write down on FOUR MILLION phones, or a $500 write down on TWO MILLION phones. Really?! That's obviously more than their entire cost base on their entire inventory of bb10 phones at this point. Also, they happen to announce all this stuff DURING trading on options expiration day, LESS THAN FOUR TRADING HOURS before they announce a $9 LOI from Watsa. When it looks like the shares might actually bounce above 9 at Mondays open they tank BBM for good measure. Oh and then start announcing good news immediately afterwards? Lol, what a farce. The manipulation makes me want to puke. Finally, is BlackBerry really being taken private? Last I checked FFH is a publiclt traded company. Did people say that Microsoft took Nokia phones 'private'? I don't think so. This is a typical Canadian take under carried out by the cozy class of insiders to prevent foreign capital from getting involved, and they will always screw the shareholders hardest in order to make sure that is the way things happen.

Posted via CB10

THIS is an interesting point. However, if this is the case won't the SEC just 8-6 the deal anyway?

Posted via CB10

Probably not, because then they'd have to investigate a lot more than just the Fairfax takeover.

Every thing DaSchwantz said is true by the way, except for the BBM fiasco. That wasn't intentional :-)

Are you sure it wasn't intentional? Their official explanation doesn't completely add up, and nothing would surprise me anymore. Given the timing, I'd say it's suspicious at best.

Regarding the SEC...lol, yeah and they're also about to fine Anglo Mozillo and all the other mortgage banking fraudsters out of their criminal proceeds. Ha! First they gotta stop watching pron....

Posted via CB10

Oh and to top it off with a half bil cash burn when operating losses are 250 mil? Methinks the cash flow follows the rev recognition change and is just delayed. If so, it'll show up on the balance sheet as an accounts receivable or other asset. Too late for the shareholder of course.

Posted via CB10

So anyways, if I had a line on 5 bil I'd take that thing away from Prem so fast, stick it up his ass, and pull the trigger till it goes "click". He's no longer a hedge-fucker hero of mine.

Posted via CB10

Over 25,000 BES10 installations and climbing. They have not only installed and are using BES10 but they are also buying up many BB10 devices.

BlackBerry appears to be in good hands with Prem Warsash.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!

Unless he wants to get his money back and decides that parts of BlackBerry should be put up for sale....

Give this Man a FREE SMARTPHONE. He has nailed it .
Business men do not do things because they FEEL for Company's and anyone here who is thinking that is in for a SHOCK !

Folks..............this is ALL ABOUT MONEY!

And nothing wrong with that! Prema's main priority is and should be profit. Lazaridis and Balsillie are the reason for the rise and epic fall. Don't look for a phoenix folks

Posted from my 6230

Literally just got a BBM from BlackBerry's Keys To The City promotion team informing me that I've won a Q10 :)

Leave it to BlackBerry to expand their market share by giving away phones, but only to people who already own one.

I must beg your pardon....I own my own business and it's a private corporation. I have been approached many times by potential buyers. Key employees have asked me not to sell, and I won't unless financially forced.

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

Selling parts of BBRY will make him lose his money. Investing in BBRY as a whole and pushing force technology and innovation, he will make 100X more. Cater to the niche for now, continue to slowly grow the consumer market and BB10 will succeed beyond belief.

I'm on my 6th BlackBerry, a Z10. Best BlackBerry hardware I've owned in my opinion!

Today I took a 2 hour spin on my friends Samsung G4, and it is a different breed of smartphone. My Z10 feels a tad bit sturdier, and the slick rear cover of the G4 puts me off a bit.

However, when I look at the overall capabilities of the G4, I'm impressed. The two phones do things as different as night and day, but that's nothing more than a familiarization learning curve.

Sadly, given the weakness of the entire BlackBerry ecosystem (beyond apps, tablet choices, calendar/map integration, etc) this will be my last BlackBerry.

Security isn't an issue for me and I can see how to 'lock down' an Android, and avoid threats by being cognizant of them. So what's left, sheer stubborn loyalty to a brand that isn’t keeping up with the times?

Best wishes BlackBerry, hope you survive and eventually thrive. It's just time for this user to move on.

Posted via CB10

Why did you need to post this same message in 2 threads? Give it a rest!

Posted via CB10 via the BlackBerry Q10!

Because he has really never owned a BlackBerry phone and is just another troll or isheep

Posted via CB10

Because it was so deep in the comments on the first post, I decided to repost for more eyes to see. As a long time loyalist I believe it has value to those that aren't so emotionally tied to their BlackBerry.

Of course, I expected those that are emotionally tied to BlackBerry to react as you have...with name calling.

Posted via CB10

I respect your opinion, as I'm sure based on your post you respect others. Those who were so bothered by your decision are no better than the iSheep they ridicule. I've had a BlackBerry a long time, longer than most but, I suspect my Z10 will be my last device too. Guess what? It may be the last BlackBerry device for most of us who have them. Its official, BlackBerry can't get any lower on the food chain. The only place they can go is up. Without a major investment from a strategic partner, serious marketing and consumer demand that generates carrier support, the next major announcement will be BlackBerry's obituary. Don't blame the consumer, blame the leadership team at BlackBerry, especially Balsillie and Lazaridis. They made the decisions that relegated BlackBerry to niche status

Posted from my 6230

Appreciate your reply... yes, the post was for more level heads that can see beyond an opportunity to ridicule.

I changed my sgs4/ip5 combo to a z10 and i personally think its thr best phone i had. I dont really care for apps, as i have all i need, yet i do care for usability and ease of use. BlackBerry is king with bb10 in this ;)

And yes, its my first BlackBerry and i have no emotional ties with it :)

I might sound bad, but... i also tend to support western companies a bit more, as whole tech field is now dominated by eastern companies, so i like to have a bit more balance :)) hope this didnt sound in a bad manner :)

Posted via CB10

You're right on the money for the most part, but I think you missed on one point. As a former WebOS user, we used to say Palm couldn't get any lower from where they were, we were excited about the sale to HP.

We were so, so wrong. A company can always go lower, until they're not a company any more.

BB makes great hardware. But I don't see a path forward for BB running the BB OS. I would buy a BB made handset running Android with a light, SECURE, skin in a heartbeat though. Take the strength of the hardware, dump the awful OS, keeping the value of the BB's approach to security and you've got a company that will be profitable. BB will never be a major player with BB OS.

There is nothing "secure" about giving apps, app developers and ad agencies free reign to take information from your phone and profile you, which happens when agreeing to the terms of many apps with both Android and iPhone.

Posted via CB10

If BB's programmers aren't smart enough to find a way to work with that, then they don't deserve their jobs. Heck, just do what Amazon did. Fork Android and start a dedicated BB/Android app store so only approved apps that are reviewed by BB as secure are allowed. This will still save TONS of coding time and make for easier porting while allowing BB to use a better OS as a starting point and giving users a base OS that isn't awful or bear the burden of being 'dead'.

That said, security begins and ends with the user. Put a smartphone in the hands of an imbecile and that device is going to be unsecure, no matter what the OS or Apps look like. Security breaches involving smartphones are more often going to be the result of carelessness, not exploits.

What are you talking about? Where in my comment did I call you a name?

Posted via CB10 via the BlackBerry Q10!

HAHA people like that are so weird. Like JUST GO already, no one here cares if people post their dramatic little goodbyes.

NEXUS 5 in about 3 weeks , PRICE ,PERFORMANCE, try before you make a choice and you will be blown away. If you can wait that long.
Never install APPS outside the Play Store and you will be Fine. 4 years now with Android and I never had any issues. If you install APK's from the web then that is a risk you take, but that is for ALL Smartphones INCLUDING BB.

Yes, that is the one I'm looking at, the Nexus 5. BlackBerry started losing me with the promise of the Playbook being upgraded to BB10. With its limited memory, I sensed this would be impossible but thought maybe a lite version? When the reversed course 180, it was the writing on the wall.

Then discovered a few attractive Android map/calendar integration features and was intrigued. I like the option of a calendar reminder tied into your GPS map, telling you when to leave for appt based on travel time. That is just one of many features.

So for those that think I'm a troll, so be it. I laughed at the iSheep comment, considering I'm talking Android! I simply hope others that are open minded and wondering about other platforms will have the courage to look beyond blind brand loyalty, and test drive...be it Android or iOS.

Posted via CB10

I don't think anyone here could care less what phone your going to next. Hop over to droid central and tell people who give a dam. Bye!

Posted via CB10

No doubt, it's gonna be slick and cool and well-featured and even amazing. But, its hardware aside, it is the Android O/S that scares the living @#$%& out of me. I mean, can "lock down" the device all you want, the O/S will continue to spy on you at every turn, transmitting all your keystrok entries and other personal data off to the google servers for storage, archiving and processing in order to the mother ship to profit from deeper-reaching advertising. And "whatever" else they're doing with it (ie. sharing data with governments) and working on.
BlackBerry's hardware always WAS high quality (I've dropped my Torch 9800 - EASILY - 50 times onto everything from hardwood floors to concrete sidewalks and searing-hot parking lots, and except for a few little 'dings' and 'scratches' in the finish, it still works AWESOME!)
BUT the software - I agree - could use improvements.

I am personally not Apps-dependent, but I DO know that most apps are MUCH more developed and mature on the other O/S platforms than BB. Again, no sweat off my brow - and that's purely a personal take. I know others will strongly disagree.

So, hey, I know you're going to love your new phone, Nexus or otherwise, and that's good. Just recognize that the ONLY difference is that one seems to better suit YOUR needs and wants while the other no longer does. And who knows: maybe some day, you'll find that the position's reversed.
We can respect that if you do as well.

Just my 2 cents from a penny-less country.
Cheers and Keep Moving!

You haven't had any issues because your phone continues to work? In some circles, an app that collects information about my contacts, what other apps I have on my phone, my unique phone ID, and potentially more (because I was required to give it blanket permissions in order to install it) is considered malware or spyware. Just because a virus doesn't cripple your phone doesn't mean you are not bleeding out privacy and security every time you turn on your phone. I like some things about the Nexus line too, but I just can't stomach letting apps do whatever they want, whenever they want to on my phone.

Posted via CB10

I think, if I switch, I will wait to see what Ubuntu and Firefox OS are like, before jumping to Android. But at the moment, I don't feel a need to switch. But then, I'm not very app dependent. Most of them are just ways to waste my time, imo. Anyway, just thought I'd chime in with that since others are talking about why they are leaving. I think I'll stay as long as is possible.

Posted via CB10


Shodan crawls the Internet looking for devices, many of which are programmed to answer. It has found cars, fetal heart monitors, office building heating-control systems, water treatment facilities, power plant controls, traffic lights and glucose meters. A search for the type of baby monitor used by the Gilberts reveals that more than 40,000 other people are using the IP cam–and may be sitting ducks for creepy hackers.

n.o.c maybe in demand sooner than later, for non phone related activities..

I'm not if the whole prosumer thing still holds water. The place to maximize profit is in the consumer sector getting a cut of apps and other consumer products. I think that was said to keep the stock at rock bottom before the announcement.

Posted via Microwave Oven

Very inspiring story of his childhood. Sounds like it would make an amazing movie. Canada should be proud of all the people who came here with a dream and made it to the top with the help from our Government, Schools, Citizens Etc....
I have a feeling Mike is coming back as CEO. Whoever it is, I just hope they hire a new management team to go along side them. Especially marketing.

Posted via CB10

'When he came to Canada, he reportedly did so with only $8 in his pocket'

That is impressive - you could barely afford a bag of crisps and a bottle of water for that at the airports I've been to in Canada ;)

Nice write up Chris, and interesting intro - brings starkly into focus his investment (and not tech) background and drive. Not sure what this means for BB, time will tell!

Without reading it. Let me guess Chris. He's a great guy. A savior of the company. Fairfax is, well....fair. Things could not be better. Watsa is only in it to save Canadian business.

Chris Umiastowski


U-Me = you and me

Stowski = Slavic for sucker

Basically Chris is saying via his last name that we are all suckers.

Posted via CB10 via the BlackBerry Q10!

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What is kind of history or reputation does Fairfax have with acquisitions? Do the typically buy them and leave them alone, completely overhaul them, or dismantle them? Is there any way to look at their history and determine what the plans with BlackBerry would be?

Ask your self, what does an Insurance company going to do with Blackberry especially when Fairfax investment in BB is under water at an average of $17/share? Additionally, Mike Lazaridis is not part of the Fairfax consortium that made the bid. Why? you should ask.... In my personal opinion, I believe he knows this will not be good for the company Blackberry as a whole but only for Prem Watsa as a Fairfax investor. He needs to make his money back somehow, right?

I love my Z10 but Fairfax's low bull bit is not the answer for this company, nor holding the current BOD at BBRY.

“Mike’s not going anywhere…. If he were going to retire, I would not have gone on the board.”  Fourteen months later Lazaridis announced his retirement, leaving BlackBerry behind but still holding his shares.
Prem Watsa resigned his board seat this summer"

Trying to make it sound like he left because mike left? He left so there would be no perceived conflict of interest in this deal.

Canada should be ashamed of what has happened to BlackBerry. Pretty sure that most BODs, here in the United States, would have kicked Thor, Kristian, Frank Boulben and the "Journey Cover Song App Guy" to the curb before it got to this point. Go ask Carly Fiorina.

Pathetic and scandalous what has happened to BBRY stockholders.

How the analysts and reporters hate this move by Watsa.

They've had rich pickings for the last few years feeding on BlackBerry, and all that carrion is about to go away.

@ br - "correct" and how many are telling you to "sell your BBRY stock NOW"....since when does the iTard media care so much about BBRY investors?

Something up?

So he has almost $500M of BB shares but paid over $900. So he needs to build value. Stripping it and using the cash won't do that. I think he will have to grow it and then go back to the market

Seems like someone you would want to run BlackBerry, maybe they will be able to let employees run with some new ideas. I'm still hoping for a docking station for my BlackBerry

Posted via CB10

Glad we are "singing the praises" or Prem... this guy just offered $9 for a company he said was "worth $40" not so very long ago...

"All Hail the Savior, Prem"..... he's another money grubber ... don't fool yourself....

He should have insulted everyone, further, with an offer of "$8.00 per share" would have had a bit of ironic symbiosis to it"... wouldn't you agree.

And before you tell me that he has lost money since his $17 per share - HE SAT ON THE BOARD WHILE THIS IMPLOSION HAPPENED... was he sleeping in all of these meetings?

Yeah I think it's important to not forget he was on the board when blackberry got themselves into this mess. His decisions are what resulted in blackberry being what we know today. All hail Prem Watsa, KING OF THE FOOLS

need to distinguish between "Board of Director" roles such as "APPROVING" Executive hires, setting Corporate Strategy, deciding on things like "Mission Statements" etc. vs. "Executive Management Team" roles like "Marketing Focus" device-specific decisions liek the road map, manufacturing selection, pricing, etc.

While the failures of the PAST Board of Directors (incl. Mike L. and Jim B.) have NOW come firmly home to roost, it is the Mangement Team (yes, also hired by "this" BoD) - and by that I mean Herr Heins and Monsieur Boulben - that has squarely and sufficiently EFFED everything up beyond repair or reason.

So, while the BoD is to blame to some extent - I mean, WHO TF thought Boulben was ANY good for the CMO position and baced on WHAT criteria & qualifications?!?!?! - but it is the people they hired who absolutely bungled it all, SEEMINGLY just to collect their 'diamond severance' packages WHEN things failed because they were never incented to even try.

Watsa probably recognized that early-on and knew his day to step in and profit would come eventually ... and now is that payday. For him, TH and FB ... the 5000+ employees and the rest of us shareholders get screwed-over.

Ya, shure they are. Let's recall that Boulben hasn't accomplished Jack-S#*T since getting off the boat here in Waterloo; I don't recall even a single Media Release or TV interview ... probably instructed "so" by TH.
Either way, "FB" has been a MONUMENTAL EFF-UP in this job, and I could have done his job a 1000 times more effectively while blindfolded with 1 arm tied behind my back and standing on 1 leg. Oh, and also while Hitting the Mark "geographically" including in the USA.

Herr Heins, OTOH, shot his mouth off SO often to build expectations and hope among users and decvelopers about everything from "BB10 Launch Dates," "Mobile Computing" and "selling 10s of Millions of devices" to "Playbook Upgrades" ... only to have every single one dashed over and over, and over again.
AND let's also recall that HE was in charge of DEVICE DEVELOPMENT in the pre-BB10 days - so "very likely" responsible for many of their major device shortcomings like inadequate hardware specs to accommodate future O/S upgrades, device release delays, slow touch-screen deployment, and possibly even the underwhelming designs (and their shortcomings) that most users have come to resent.
MOST of all, HE killed off the Trackpad and Hardware control button-panel for BB10 ... which I also expect THAT to have been ONE of the contributing factors to the stupendous platform failure to-date. I KNOW the trackpad+hardware keys is ONE OF THE KEY features I have come to LOVE and RELY ON in my Torch 9800 (slider) ... and that I'm not alone.

So, "experienced" is THE perfect 'counterpoint' to the future answer I expect to get when knocking on Watsa's door for the Top Marketing Job
... because RIM's declining of my (marketing) job applications over the last 12-15 years has ALWAYS been something "lack of, or not specific-enough, experience-related" ... and the first time I asked, they "didn't DO Marketing."

So, yeah, it makes me think, because it seems I'm the ONLY one with his/her head screwed-on, both, tight AND the right way. PLUS, I "get" everything from "Design" to "Specs" and "Supply Chain" ... even my Forte: Marketing that screams: "GIMME YO MONEY!!"

But you're probably right: I don't have the - caugh, caugh - "Experience."

THAT's My 2 cents from a penny-less country.
Cheers and Keep Moving!

Apparently, not one of these morons on the BOD of BBRY asked Frank Boulben (chief marketing office extrordinaire) if there was one f^cking sign up in one carrier store in the United States promoting BB10 phones.... not a sign, not a worthwhile commercial... NOTHING.... Prem and Thor and the rest of these clowns thought that BB10 would "sell themselves" especially Q10 - "tens of millions" Thor spouted... in hindsight that piece of crap liar about the sales, products etc Balsille - had nothing on Thor... shame on all of them.. Canada deserves this "disgrace"....

Well, you're 99% right in your assessment, except that I don't see how "Canada deserves this disgrace" ...

Read my comment right above yours and you'll see we agree, and I was being polite in regards to Monsieur Boulben (to call him an imbicile would be an enormous insult to all imbiciles!!). Yes, everyone you mention is 100% complicit in this F$#K-UP, though to varying degrees, but especially in APPROVING TH's diamond-handshake if the company were to be sold and he ousted. Talk about THE monumental disincentive to ensure everyone - and ESPECIALLY the guy at the top - works their hardest to make the turnaround successful AND happening!!

But "Canada deserving this?" NON! ... first, because it has ZERO to do with it, and second, because EVERYONE below the BoD and C-suite worked their tails off according to their instructions. Now, 4500 more of my neighbours, friends and fellow citizens are getting the pink-slip middle finger ... just in time for Christmas and the Winter ahead.
And "Ain't NOBODY deserves THAT!"

THAT's my 2 cents from a penny-less country.
Cheers and Keep Moving!

@ bp - in accordance with your above post - I could not "agree more" that all the "Qwerty Keyboard Lovers aka 9900/9700 Users" WANTED in a new phone was their Qwerty keyboard and a better way to search the internet - THAT'S IT... all this new fangled "swipe gesture" mumbo jumbo is confusing to them and has lost BlackBerry millions of "existing customer upgrades"..

Apparently, there aren't any "market survey" companies in Canada that could have helped BlackBerry figure that out through some "test market survey groups" trying the new BB10 phones and telling BlackBerry - 'too confusing to use"... I mean one of those metrosexuals at BGR said it took him "4 days to figure out how to swipe up on Z10" and this turd works with these phones everyday...

well, some people are either just too damn stupid to figure out 3 or 4 gestures (I can show them a few ... ;) ) OR - more likely - comments like that are intentionally designed by someone with a vested interest to come off as "it's just not worth your effort, folks" in order to drive people away. Make them not even bother looking at or consider a BB device when upgrading.

As for "market survey" companies in Canada, ... you ARE kidding, right??
What you're overlooking is that a bunch of egomaniacs decided they knew EXACTLY what people wanted and that no-one else had ANYTHING worthwhile. They both told me so directly and in person. Market Research, Focus Groups and everything else be damned.

Mind you, Steve Jobs and even the current AAPL team did/are doing EXACTLY the same thing ... except there aren't any revolutionary new technology paradigms in-play 'right now' and all THEIR "market research" comes in the form of mile-long lineups and millions of barely-rehashed devices flying off store shelves in a weekend. Yet, THAT party can come to a crashing stop ... PRECISELY like it did with BBRY.

Only time will tell ...

THAT's 2 more cents from a penny-less country.
Cheers and Keep Moving!

Look at the market price though. If people really believed BB was worth more than $9 per share, then the stock price would reflect that. If people really believed a better offer was around the corner, then the stock price would reflect that.

He most likely was one of the reasons for Blackberry demise since he still wanted the two knucklehead CEOs to stay when investors were screaming at them.

They were all in the "Executive Clown Car" together marveling at this "Canadian Thing" that they had and everyone was doing a "grand job".....Canada does not deserve a thriving BlackBerry.

Chis great way to say here are the facts, read between the lines, I am not going to speculate...
(this is not a complaint)

Stock closed today 8.53$ even though pending purchase bid is at 9$.

Just shows there is absolute no confidence in Fairfax or Blackberry management to get themselves out of their own mess.

Shorts are still in control of this stock and you can't blame them. Company and press was managed in a total cluster fuck.

Oh and it's odd that Chris didn't mention the lawsuit by Prem against big shorts who attacked his company stock. I guess hedge funds got their revenge on complacent Blackberry.

@ Alex - why would anyone have confidence in this "Executive Board Clown Car Posse" out of Waterloo?

They all sat around in these board meetings fiddling while "RIM was burning"....

Because most Canadian companies operate like the Government of Canada, slow, wasteful, inefficient and expect handouts for their miserable performance. First it was Nortel, then Bombardier and now Blackberry.

We have a lot of that in the States, as well, but I just have to believe that in a corporation - these bozos would have been "kicked to the curb" here.... This has been awful for a very long time... Thor sounded like a beaten wife who didn't know what to do on the last earnings call.... and the "pisser" that Z10 Q10 are great products - and very few people around the world know it.... can't wait to see Z30.... probably upgrade my Z10 for the screen....

Would that be Mike "Who needs a camera on a smartphone?" Lazaridis?
Yeah, because someone who is so clearly in touch with what consumers want is exactly who you want running your company.

Wow. It's hard to believe how melodramatic a lot of you are on this site. How do you know what's going to happen ? Would you prefer they got bought out by the Chinese ? How about a soulless competitor/ginormous corporate entity, say Apple ? or just another Microsoft acquisition ? If you are on this site for a reason, it's because you like this company and their products, right ? Guess what - going private with a CANADIAN company is the only solution that preserves their intellectual integrity.

Yes.... bring on the Chinese.... Lenovo.... offer $9.01 per share and I will use "LenovoBerrys" for the rest of my life and it will be a "much better run company".. Gingtao!!!

Lenovo bought IBM flailing PC division - where is it now???? Gingtao!!!

Because all those US jobs went to China. Just like with Apple.

And that's probably what will happen with BlackBerry. They've been employing people in North America and paying the price. Now the jobs will go offshore and we'll wonder why our living standards are dropping.

@ br.... would you rather see BlackBerry survive and get bought by another company - or stay under the leadership of the inept who have taken this company from $140 - $8 per share?

Simple question.. Gingtao!!!! Microsoft really "Screwed the pooch" by buying NOK and not BBRY - BBRY way better match with corporate accounts et al..

Apple did well after Microsoft invested $150M in '97 in exchange for non-voting stock. Its likely Apple would've folded without the investment. Its business people not a marriage, it's a phone, not a baby

Posted from my 6230

It's a BlackBerry fan site! What do you expect? Clear, balanced objectivity? NO!

Posted from my 6230

Welcome to the Prem and Mike Show!!!

We've yet to see the ultimate BlackBerry with keyboard or touch screen. It has to be built from quality materials. The UI experience has to be mind blowing. The camera has on a par with a DSLR.

This HAS to be across the board on all BlackBerry devices.

Once you have built the ultimate BlackBerry device, incremental changes people are more tolerant.

I'm thinking a new board of directors Mike and Prem lead the team, keeping Thorsten, a new marketing director or make companies bid for the contract, promote Alex Saunders , unleash The Astonishing Tribe - let them get crazy.

Give Crackberry, N4BB and BBOS jobs or specific roles in the new BlackBerry company . I would draw up a contract for a leading lens and camera manufacturers to build a camera for the BlackBerry.

Under promise, over perform.

This is the mantra within the company .

It's time to innovative beyond what a Smartphone can do.

Execute or get executed.

BlackBerry.....Get it done!!!!!

Posted via CB10

Maybe it's just a revenge: I'll buy you and I'll destroy you! Muhahaha! Just kidding

Posted via CB10

Further to my previous comments....one more thing......HIRE THE DIGITAL HOMEBOY....NOW.

Tomorrow is already too late!!!!

Posted via CB10

"When he came to Canada, he reportedly did so with only $8 in his pocket"... there is no way that Canada government will allow a foreign person to immigrate on their country with only $8 on his pocket... and if he really did that, he can really save BlackBerry... ;-)

Posted via Z10

Shhh, don't ruin a great Canadian story in the making... With 8 bucks in his pocket, Prem lived in an Igloo for years hunting seals... until he visited his uncle who had a corner store...

BlackBerry's Daddy Warbucks...

Hopefully he'll continue to grow the platform in enterprise and keep alive the handset business...

Posted via CB10

What a man, just like Steve jobs saved apple from the brink of collapse, prema will do the same. Great visions equal awesome success... he knows something and plans to do something big with bbry to ensure its existence in the phone market... if he has made billions with just $8, then their will be no probz for him to turn a failing company big and make fortunes from it... his done it once, twice and so forth...

Sent by Bbry Zed10

Stop it! I'm no apple fan but the one thing I've envied apple for as a long time BlackBerrian,is the leadership apple had starting with Steve Jobs. Jobs negotiated a150 million dollar investment from Microsoft when apple was in trouble. Prema is an investor, Jobs was a brilliant technologists and great at marketing apple products.

Posted from my 6230


I'm British, born and raised.

I need an alternative. BlackBerry is my alternative.

The Pearl, the Curve and Bold all legendary devices. These are the success stories when a company takes the time to build a device. Everything after seems a bit suspect and rushed.

People have sacrificed security for apps.

Angry Birds and Candy Crush? People really.

You can't leave Apple (gangster) . Android has compatibility problems, apart from Samsung hardly any companies make a profit. Windows don't take the smartphone industry seriously enough to dedicate time to it.

The only REAL alternative is BlackBerry.

We use our phones more than we realise.

BlackBerry will rise again and be the power again.

BlackBerry is a fine dining restaurant trying to compete with a fast food chain. You can't win....

This is the start of a long journey.

Start building quality smartphones now you're not at the mercy of Wall Street.

BlackBerry.....Get it done.


Posted via CB10

@ rick - anytime you want to do a "which BlackBerry products have I/do I own throw down"... give me the "heads up"... you will not win...


Let's just wait until the Financial results come in then we'll see if this was a bargain.

Time to get a BlackBerry, if you're an American.

Android and Apple are Hacking paradise.

BlackBerry just build quality Smartphones and Software.

Re hire some of the workforce for training in BB10 or BBM or better still Sales. Who better to demonstrate BlackBerry than someone who has worked on the development of the device, this saves money and jobs.

Retraining not redundancies.

I would have a commercial showing all the merits of BB10 titled...Blackberry does this.....

Then I would show all the companies BlackBerry owns.

BlackBerry..... more than just a Smartphone.....

BlackBerry.....Get it done!!!!!


Posted via CB10

Fact of the matter is few see the value in BlackBerry. It's been dumped on by the press for so long that one could almost guess that there would be no big bid.

Prem has been on the inside on the board, he is no fool. Making a bid either gets him the company for what he is willing to pay or starts a bidding war in which case he will get more for the shares he owns should he decide not to participate.

BlackBerry can be rebuilt but not in the public eye. Going private will help a lot. Prem may sell off a division like QNX or BBM to raise cash down the road but with the 2.7 billion hopefully he won't have to.

Posted via CB10

@ kool - while 'rickster' cools down a bit, let me ask you - can BlackBerry survive/thrive with Frank Boulben leading the marketing effort? Because I humbly submit that he, almost, single handidly FUBAR'd BlackBerry with the lamest/most insignificant launch of a product in OS history.

Motorola threw $100million behind that first brick of a Droid... do you remember it?
Samsung Galaxy S3 ads, in Chicago, were f^cking EVERYWHERE... bus hideouts, TV, Billboards etc... nobody even knew Samsung made phones til that ad campaign.

Fast for to Frankie B. and "BB 10 Launch"... $4 mil on a forgettable Super Bowl commercial a couple of months before launch of product, no signs in any U.S. carriers and a commercial with a guy sliding through mud....


Yep. 99 out of 100 people still think BlackBerrys have trackballs and the worst browser on the market. Nobody but nobody knows about bb10.

and whenever you see pictures in a BlackBerry news article, or on TV - 85% chance they will be showing a BlackBerry with a trackball - part of the "Destroy BBRY Campaign"... but since marketing has sucked so so badly... why would anyone know different?

You are a mercenary! You're killing people's dreams of a "rise of the phoenix" return for BlackBerry. Lol.

Seriously, people! Most of us have Blackberries, some of us have had many of them over many years. Some of us own stock, while very few own enough shares to effect our tax returns. BlackBerry didn't care enough about their consumers, dismissed the camera on a phone, dismissed the touch screen, dismissed apps and games while many of "us" echoed the same sentiment... What did it get us? A great phone 3 years too late that developers are ignoring. Have no fear, Apple, Samsung and Droid paid attention, BlackBerry showed them what NOT to do

Posted from my 6230

You are a mercenary! You're killing people's dreams of a "rise of the phoenix" return for BlackBerry. Lol.

Seriously, people! Most of us have Blackberries, some of us have had many of them over many years. Some of us own stock, while very few own enough shares to effect our tax returns. BlackBerry didn't care enough about their consumers, dismissed the camera on a phone, dismissed the touch screen, dismissed apps and games while many of "us" echoed the same sentiment... What did it get us? A great phone 3 years too late that developers are ignoring. Have no fear, Apple, Samsung and Droid paid attention, BlackBerry showed them what NOT to do

Posted from my 6230

@freddysrevng3 I am not kool :), but let me give it my shot. I absolutely cannot see Blackberry get anywhere with Boulben as CMO. He was absolutely awful. The only thing to I will even consider giving him the slightest bit of credit is the deal with Mercedes / Petronas F1 team. However, with a management overhaul along with a leaner and focused staff, I think they can certainly rise from the ashes. There is no need for TH to go, but he will have to move to straight operations and leave the visionary stuff to a new, dynamic, risk taking CEO. Can it be Lazaridis? I think maybe in a private arena given he has been seriously humbled. Having a founder with a true passion for the company beyond dollars and cents is probably what they need. They have some very talented people in Waterloo, Ottawa and Sweden. That is a great starting point. But with Frank B? Not a chance!!!

@ V - "not a chance" is correct... and Mike Lazaridis who "famously" walked off the set when asked a tough question a few years ago - is not the answer either... Besides, he has a multimillion dollar house that he is finishing up that he needs to pick drapery for et al... he is distracted...like his Co CEO liar of a partner was worrying about buying a hockey team while technology was about to pass BlackBerry bye...