BlackBerry CEO John Chen’s Interview on Bloomberg

chen

Here is another interview of BlackBerry CEO John Chen with Emily Chang from “Bloomberg West.  During this interview, he touched on several topics including his renewed optimism on BlackBerry’s future prospects, the Amazon partnership and the monetization and future plans for BBM.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen Interview on Bloomberg

When asking him about his 80/20 prediction, Bloomberg as predicted, pressed him on explaining where the 20 came from and asked him where his doubt came from.  Chen’s answer shown below was in my view very smart and he came across as a pragmatic leader who knew what he was talking about and not one with the tendency to shoot from the hip.

“The world could change, the market could change.  I mean I’ve been in business long enough to know never say anything about 100% because you will jinx yourself.
So you know, again I just don’t want people to just focus on the 20, I want people to focus a lot on the fact that I am absolutely comfortable on the viability of the company going forward.  You saw all the numbers, we could talk about those.  We’re in good shape right now.”

When asked about BlackBerry’s plan to gain an additional $100 million dollars in revenue in fiscal year 2016 and where it was going to come from, Chen emphasized the following that I have paraphrased

“I really believe that we have a good handle on our monetization of BBM.  First of all lets talk about BBM.  It is the most secure monetization system.  It has 160 million registered users, of which about 85+ million are monthly active users.  So the monetization plan is in 3 buckets.  One is the “Enterprise BBM function.  We just released one called “BBM protect”, which are highly encrypted data messaging between 2 users.  And there are a lot of new features and functionalities that will come out in that way. Voice and data alike.

And then there is the Mobile Payment.  As you know we have a system called the BBM Money running in Indonesia and doing quite well there.  We just entered in an agreement with EnStream, which is a Canadian mobile payment system with the three major banks and the three major telecoms, Visa and Mastercard in Canada and we are using our infrastructure that is another aspect of it.

The third bucket has to do with the consumer space.  We have a lot of channels.  Those are great for advertising.  I won’t do the advertising myself or sell the advertising myself, but I have agencies or you would think about partners and distributors that would do so for us and we have a couple of early successes and then in the virtual goods world that includes stickers.

So there are 3 buckets, depending on what part of the world we are in and what segment of the customer base we are in, have the ability to monetize any or all together.  We believe we can get to $100 million.”

CEO Chen did say that BlackBerry was getting close to the “break even” point in its handset device division but would need a couple more quarters to start making money on phones.  And as BlackBerry made money on phones, they would sell them forever, but BlackBerry’s focus was to be an end to end provider in services and mobile world.

Regarding the Amazon App store deal,he did say that there was a benefit to both companies working together as Amazon was interested in BlackBerry’s userbase and BlackBerry was in need of apps on the consumer and prosumer side.  He did say that right now they don’t have enough volume or money to do both.  So BlackBerry was going to focus on getting the professional and enterprise based apps and Amazon would help in getting the consumer apps.

On BlackBerry’s future prospects, Chen mentioned that BlackBerry had removed their “for sale” sign and is not seeking a buyer.  But did say that since BlackBerry is a public company, if there was a substantial offer that was supported by the shareholders and would not affect their customers, then he would have a duty to look at it.  But he did stress that he does not want to sell and is not seeking a buyer.

From the interview, my sense is that CEO Chen sounded a lot more confident about BlackBerry’s future prospects and sees a lot of growth potential in the company.  He did have this message for those dissenters, and others who were concerned about the company’s future

“We’re viable company, we have a strong balance sheet, lots of cash and we are now starting to focus on growth”

Chen once again by this interview is demonstrating that he is the right person to lead BlackBerry and that he has a very clear vision on where he intends to take the company.  He is definitely putting the changes in place to turn BlackBerry around and to make it into a thriving company.

 

web99

Web99 enjoys tech and has tried smartphones on all the major platforms. Out of all devices he has tried, BlackBerry10 best fulfills his needs.

  • ray689

    Thanks for that Web. It’s nice to hear his confidence in BlackBerry. He is a true leader and I have no doubt that BlackBerry will rise again.

    • web99

      Thanks Ray. It’s always refreshing to be able to hear and report good news about BlackBerry. CEO Chen is doing an amazing job.

  • Brad

    Our man Chen is awesome. He really just is the right man for the job. I like him more and more the more I see of him.

  • nnik

    Excellent presentation of that interview, makes it easy for everyone to understand. The news is great as well

  • shanerredflag

    Wanna turn your company around when? Better call Chen. locco_smiley_20

  • veeru789

    “If you offer $100 per share, I will probably call you back ”

    ^^^ this. Excellent answer to a persistent annoying little bitch. :))

    • Blackjack

      Ha ha I loved that one too veeru

    • web99

      You know what is funny. On another well known BlackBerry forum, one person replied to this comment by saying

      “If someone offered him $10 as share, he’d call them back”

      But then another person corrected him by saying

      “Considering we sit at $10.49 on the TSE at the moment i’d have to say no..”

      They just don’t seem to like good news about BlackBerry over there. UTB is the place to be.

  • G-bone

    J.C. = Superstar
    BB = Best Bet
    As I’ve said before :
    BlackBerry : We invented the smartphone business – we’re taking it back!

    #BackToBlack

  • Blackjack

    SO now its.. “Amazon has ONLY 250000 apps”
    Will this crap never end?
    I GOTTA HAVE A MILLION APPS ON MY PHONE I DON’T CARE IF GOOGLE PLAY IS REAMING ME IN MY BUTT

  • jic999

    Bloomberg Host Trish O’Regan was interviewing the BTG analyst and put together a BlackBerry blunder montage….real nice !!
    Plus she was quoting and bashing ( I paraphrase ) ” BlackBerry is not cool ” here is another quote ” is that all that Blackberry has to offer is that little dinky keyboard ” !!
    In summary she was comparing the 9900 to the iP5s what a fair comparison. This BTG analyst was just getting ahead of the curve with his Bull call as usual after being a basher of Blackberry. All the BTG analyst had to say to the Bloomberg host was ” What the BB10 email + attachment email , battery, native file manager and security is leaps a head of iOS ” + QNX & Project Ion is the next growth phase for BlackBerry,… but nope he follows with a ” Ya that Passport looks bulky ” !!!
    Well that bulky Passport could the most innovative mobile offering coming to the market !!

    Yup….the media hosts at their best …..what happened with the media pulling for the underdog…..can’t wait when these media hosts get the memo:
    ” BYOD is over because of cost & security , please pick a Z30 , Classic or Passport and setup your eBBM and attend the eBBM tutorial because BBM Meetings start in the Fall ” LOL

    • Blackjack

      Amen jic! Getting tired oft he ignorance and waiting for the firestorm!
      G Chen he is exactly what we need.

      I love the way he shrugs off the criticism.

  • Blackjack

    I’m quoting Anthony’s find here to shut that wench up about her million Google play apps.

    Here’s a link from a Channel. It talks about secret keys in Android apps. Not good :(

    http://engineering.columbia.edu/columbia-engineering-team-finds-thousands-secret-keys-android-apps-0

  • wkrgr

    Good man Chen! Remember when he was 50-50? Remember when he said that if someone made him an offer he would consider it? Six months later he’s 80-20 and not selling. Great man! Thank you for all you have done to turn this company we love back around! Thank you John Chen!

    • web99

      I remember that day when he made that statement. BlackBerry has come a long way since then and I’m happy that CEO Chen is able to articulate it.

      Also I think that the ER report and Amazon deal has taken two of the most heavily used negative arguments against BlackBerry off the table.

      1. That BlackBerry is a dying company – The ER, the fiscal changes under CEO Chen’s leadership, BlackBerry’s growth prospects and BlackBerry’s announced roadmap shows that it is still a viable company and very much alive.

      2. That BlackBerry has no apps. The announced deal with the Amazon Apps Store changes that.

  • jic BB

    LINE messenger the second big competitor to BBM if you call it a competitor :
    HACKED !

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-19/an-asia-cyber-crime/5537194

  • jic BB
  • jic BB

    watch the suppose tech guru Mossberg ask JC a dumb question and JC corrects him ! These are the media bashers of BB http://stks.co/d0gGy

  • jic BB

    Bloomberg Host Trish O’Regan was interviewing the BTG analyst and put together a BlackBerry blunder montage….real nice !!
    Plus she was quoting and bashing ( I paraphrase ) ” BlackBerry is not cool ” here is another quote ” is that all that Blackberry has to offer is that little dinky keyboard ” !!
    In summary she was comparing the 9900 to the iP5s what a fair comparison. This BTG analyst was just getting ahead of the curve with his Bull call as usual after being a basher of Blackberry. All the BTG analyst had to say to the Bloomberg host was ” What the BB10 email + attachment email , battery, native file manager and security is leaps a head of iOS ” + QNX & Project Ion is the next growth phase for BlackBerry,… but nope he follows with a ” Ya that Passport looks bulky ” !!!
    Well that bulky Passport could the most innovative mobile offering coming to the market !!
    Yup….the media hosts at their best …..what happened with the media pulling for the underdog…..can’t wait when these media hosts get the memo:
    ” BYOD is over because of cost & security , please pick a Z30 , Classic or Passport and setup your eBBM and attend the eBBM tutorial because BBM Meetings start in the Fall ” LOL

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