CEO: BlackBerry has 'financial strength for the long haul'

In a new blog post, BlackBerry's executive chairman and interim CEO tries to reassure the public that the company isn't down for the count.

BlackBerry interim CEO John Chen
BlackBerry interim CEO John Chen Bloomberg video/Screenshot by CNET

Reports of BlackBerry's death have been greatly exaggerated, at least according to its interim CEO.

In a blog posted Wednesday and aimed at the BlackBerry community, Executive Chairman John Chen said the company is looking toward the future rather than dwelling on the past. He acknowledged that BlackBerry's effort to remake itself will require time, discipline, and tough decisions. But he said he was confident the company will recapture its past success.

"We have begun moving the company to embrace a multiplatform, BYOD world by adopting a new mobility management platform and a new device strategy," Chen said. "We are also leveraging our tremendous assets, including BBM, our network, and QNX. While we are proud of these accomplishments, we know there is more work to be done."

Chen added that the company has "significant financial strength for the long haul" and promised to keep delivering the products and services relied on by its customers.

As CEO, Chen has to reassure shareholders and customers that BlackBerry has a strong future ahead of it. But achieving that future will be a challenge. A $4.7 billion deal with Fairfax Financial to take the company private was virtually dead on arrival. Currently the executive chairman, Chen himself is just the interim CEO as BlackBerry searches for a permanent replacement for Thorsten Heins.

For now, BlackBerry plans to raise $1 billion through a sale of convertible notes to investors. That money should help keep it moving. But the company still needs to figure out how to push its products and services in a mobile world dominated by Android and Apple.

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About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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