BlackBerry has had a change of leadership several times in the past few years. Prior to BlackBerry’s “crisis”, they had an interesting setup of dual CEOs comprised of Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. They were then replaced by CEO Thorsten Heins who sounded promising and made claims that he would be taking BlackBerry to new heights, but it was not to be and he has since been replaced by John Chen, who was initially meant to be the interim CEO until the board of directors could find someone new. So will Chen be able to succeed where his predecessors have failed? It remains to be seen but if anyone has confidence in BlackBerry, it would be none other than Apple’s ex-CEO himself, John Sculley.
It seems that Sculley is pretty impressed with Chen and has a huge amount of respect for him, calling him one of the most respected CEOs in the tech world, and going on to say that “if anybody has a chance to turnaround BlackBerry, it’s John Chen.” Indeed so far Chen has proven to be different from the normal CEO and has called himself “abnormal” when he was asked if he would have been better off taking a “safer and easier” job. In fact investors seemed to be pretty upbeat about Chen’s appointment as stock prices have risen during his first earning’s call. Will he have what it takes to turn things around? With Fairfax Financial backing the company and with a new CEO at the helm, these are certainly exciting times for the Canadian company.