BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) CEO John Chen on How He Deals With Idea of Failure


Despite delivering better than expected bottom line results, there appears to be continued doubts about BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s turnaround efforts to profitability. Ever since John Chen took over the position of CEO one and half years ago, he has been asked almost the same questions repeatedly. That was whether the turnaround efforts would pay. Therefore, let’s look at as to how he dealt with the question and the failure.

Impossible Mission

The pessimism has been there still in the minds of investors of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) because it has been witnessing a steep YoY downfall in revenue. In an interview to Business Insider, Chen admitted that it was impossible to turnaround right now. This could be interpreted as accepting the harsh reality of failure that presents in his mind. Probably, some of the analysts’ were also pointing out the company missing the expectations on the revenue side.

However, Chen indicated that he was not ready to give up and will work for the turnaround. In fact, he reiterated his belief that his plan of action would remain to make the smartphone inventor profitable. He has been calling for an image makeover since it started generating adjusted profit and cash flow in the last few quarters. He also expressed his unhappiness in the past over the usage of troubled or beleaguered company by pointing out the cash flow from the operations.

Confident Of Profitability

Whatever the comments being aired by different analysts, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s CEO remained confident that the company would be profitable soon. There was no doubt that he was facing immense pressure since the expectations were running high. This was because he was hailed as a turnaround person in the past. Therefore, the idea of failure crosses his mind very often as far as meeting the expectations of the investors.

However, Chen appeared to be not worried and likes to do the job of a doctor attending an emergency case. He was of the view that while obstacles were there, that should not allow him to get bogged down. It was the key to bring the company to profit from multiple quarters of losses.

Tough Challenges

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s Chen said that people like him were more interested in tackling a tough problem with a focus on turnaround tactics and trying to save businesses and enterprises. He said that he liked tough challenges and likened the role of being a doctor attending the emergency case. Chen said that he was not there to drag the company further down.

The company’s CEO said that he was not worried as to how tough it was going to be to turn around the smartphone inventor. He said that sometimes, things turn so bad. Once it was solved, it would be a happy memory to cherish it. Therefore, his focus was to run again and turnaround BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) into a profitable venture. For this, the immediate focus was stabilization of revenue. His focus on software was also yielding results as it contributed 10% to total revenue in the most recent quarterly results.

Viraj Shah

Viraj Shah has completed M.Com (Finance) and is currently pursuing his CFP. He tracks US markets along with other global markets like India very closely. He is very passionate about stocks, real estate, and technology. He also believes that money can always be made in the market.

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