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May 30, 2014

BlackBerry Recovery Chances Increase to 80 Percent: Chen

BlackBerry CEO John Chen

BlackBerry CEO John Chen is feeling more optimistic these days about the Canadian Smartphone maker’s chances of survival.

In March, Chen had said the chances of recovery for the struggling firm sat at “50-50,” but now he has revised his opinion, saying BlackBerry has an 80 percent chance for success.

Chen said that while BlackBerry has “problems,” it’s “not dead.”

“I’m confident we will be able to save the patient,” he said this week during Re/code’s Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

Chen has reorganized the beleaguered firm since taking over last fall from fired CEO Thorsten Heins.

Chen has put a new management team in place and has retuned the company to its core strengths of enterprise and security — abandoning the plan put in place by Heins to create snazzy touchscreen phones to compete with Apple’s iPhone and high-end Android options.

He said BlackBerry, during the tenure of Heins, became distracted by trying to produce the best higher-end Smartphones.

“We cast our nets a little too broadly,” he said. “The bigger play is in enterprise.”

With the next line of phones, BlackBerry is sticking to what it knows, although the devices will have larger screens, they will have the traditional full physical keyboard and all the of the popular messaging features. The devices are to be released around November, he said.

Chen also indicated he is willing to cut anything that is found to be holding the company back.

Chen, who is credited with turning around Sybase Inc in the late 1990s, also joked about why he was chosen to fill the top boss spot at BlackBerry.

“Am I the most qualified person? No, I guess I’m the only one they could find.”


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.