BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY)’s CEO John Chen: ‘BlackBerry is not For Sale’

In an interview with CBC, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s CEO John Chen has made it clear that they will not sell the company. He affirmed that the sale will not happen until and unless they return their shareholders true value, reflecting the real strength of the company. Chen said that he received numerous acquisition proposals ever since he stepped in as CEO in 2013.

Turnaround progress

Chen has no intentions to put the company for sale. He indicated that they will only consider selling it if they find a proper suitor, who is committed to take care of the company and its customers. Right now, Blackberry is undergoing the process of a turnaround as Chen said that they are entering the second phase of the process.

Chen sees the company visibly progressing in software server security and privacy, as it added 2,600 new as well as renewed customers. The company is gradually becoming a powerful software company than a device maker, but still, Chen has all intentions to retain the hardware business.

No sale of handset business

Chen did explain the reason for his urge to hold on the handset business, which has seen a massive value erosion over the last five years. The fact is evident from the company’s stock price that sits under $10 now compared to $140 five years back. The company, which is credited for conceptualizing the first Smartphones, saw its fame fade away with the dawn of Apple Inc (NASDAQAAPL)’s iPhone.

Undeterred with the anomalies, Chen explained the impracticality of selling the handset business as it is widely used by the governments across the world for its distinguishing feature, security.

As Chen has already vowed to steer back the company to normalcy, results are emerging on its software side. The company’s software sales rose by as much as 150% year-over-year to $137 million during the first quarter itself, representing a fifth of the company’s total revenue. The strong revenues support Chen’s goal to achieve $500 million software sales within this fiscal.

However, the company has much more to do to straighten up its smartphone sales, which are languishing year-over-year. The handset sales stood at 1.1 million during the period between January and March, as compared to 2.6 million in the previous year.