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Ex-Apple CEO Sculley said to be eyeballing BlackBerry?

In a coy interview with a Canadian newspaper, John Sculley appears to be mulling a BlackBerry bid and says that he is a "longtime BlackBerry fan and user."

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
BlackBerry's Z10 smartphone. Josh Miller/CNET

Former Apple CEO John Sculley is said to be considering buying BlackBerry, according to a report by The Globe and Mail. No, this is not a parody Onion article.

The man known for firing Steve Jobs from Apple in 1985 told the Canadian newspaper that while he was not commenting on the matter, he said he has been a "longtime BlackBerry fan and user."

"The only thing I would say is, I think there's a lot of future value in BlackBerry, but without experienced people who have run this type of business, and without a strategic plan, it would be really challenging," Sculley continued. "Whoever buys it would have to have a strategic plan that was credible and could succeed, and they would want to have an experienced team that would be able to implement that plan."

BlackBerry announced last month that it was for sale after dwindling sales and heightened competition from Apple, Samsung, and other phone makers. Shortly after the announcement, Fairfax Financial Holdings put together a consortium to buy out BlackBerry in a tentative $9 per share offer. Chinese PC maker Lenovo is also rumored to be considering the acquisition of BlackBerry.

At a Forbes conference last month, Sculley recounted his clashes with Jobs. Sculley told the conference attendees that it was basically the Apple board's fault for creating an environment in which he and Jobs butted heads. While Sculley did fire Jobs, he later said that he thinks Jobs was "the greatest CEO ever." Sculley was Apple's CEO from 1983 to 1993.

When contacted by CNET, a BlackBerry spokesperson said the company is not disclosing any potential buyers at this time.

"The Special Committee, with the assistance of the company's independent financial and legal advisors, is conducting a robust and thorough review of strategic alternatives," the spokesperson said. "We do not intend to disclose further developments with respect to the process until we approve a specific transaction or otherwise conclude the review of strategic alternatives."

Updated October 24 at 2:25 p.m. PT with comment from a BlackBerry spokesperson.