Various analysts have already predicted that in the event of a buyout, BlackBerry’s handset business won’t be of much value, seeing as how the company has significantly lost market share in the past few years. Earlier this year it launched the Z10, a device that was supposed to begin its turnaround, but instead the company ended up writing off nearly a $1 billion as it sat on unmoved inventory. So what is the future of BlackBerry’s once iconic handset business? Incoming interim CEO John S. Chen tells Reuters that the company has no plans of shutting the business down, despite the fact that its hemorrhaging money.
Chen is widely known for the turnaround he engineered as Sybase’s CEO in the late 1990s, which was an enterprise software and services company, later acquired by SAP in 2010. So he’s confident in his ability to turn BlackBerry around, as long as he’s the interim CEO and remains executive chairman of the board. “I have done this before and seen the same movie before,” says Chen, adding that he believes BlackBerry has “enough ingredients to build a long-term sustainable business.” Chen is certainly an important figure in BlackBerry now, given his position. It remains to be seen for how long he holds the CEO slot, the board hasn’t given a timeframe in which it expects to find a permanent CEO. Earlier today the speculation about BlackBerry’s impending buyout ended, as Fairfax ended up investing $1 billion in the company with other unnamed investors instead of taking it private at the previously agreed upon non-binding $4.7 billion bid.