Prior to bringing John Chen on board, BlackBerry’s stock had reached new lows last year. The board ousted the sitting CEO, brought Chen in, who then began to restructure the company as well as the top level management. Even though it hasn’t been an overnight success, the market believes that BlackBerry has a fighting chance under new leadership, which is why its stock has slowly climbed its way back up over the past few months. One of the things most admired about Chen is the fact that he’s often blunt about the crisis BlackBerry finds itself in, recently in an interview he remarked that BlackBerry’s turnaround plans have a 50 percent chance of failing.
Back in January during another interview Chen equated the company to a sick patient that immediately needed surgery. He’s aware of the fact that losing key government and corporate clients has had an adverse effect on the company, but he and his team are focused on keeping the new customers happy by providing them superior products and services while focusing on the company’s “heritage and roots,” which can be found deep within enterprise grade, end to end mobile solutions.
The new CEOs turnaround plan has already been put in motion. BlackBerry has sold off real estate, tightened its belt even further and has also partnered up with Foxconn to sell low-end devices in emerging markets. Moreover, in a bid to appeal to former loyalists, Chen has also brought back the iconic “belt” of physical buttons and trackpad that were weeded out in favor of BlackBerry 10’s gesture based user interface.