I don’t know how many actually remember this date. Four years ago today, BlackBerry announced that they would no longer be for sale with Fairfax giving them 1 Billion dollars, and interim CEO John Chen was introduced as a replacement for Thorsten Heins. The revolution began.
The “Way Back” machine…
It was a day to remember because the murky time before the announcement was just a pile of rumors about who might buy BlackBerry. It went from the former CEO and founder to Apple investor. There were even some rumors about Prem Watsa making BlackBerry a private company. We heard lot of rumors in those days, and then it happened.
Heins, the CEO who brought BB10 to life (while he was the senior engineer who worked on it in the Lazaridis era) stepped down after an initial failure in sales and marketing. Heins took the brunt of criticism for losing billions for BlackBerry, and the board of directors had just had enough.
BlackckBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders. This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position. Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner for their needs.
This is the important part from the Board of Directors announcement that saved BlackBerry from bankruptcy, and maybe even enabled a sale to another company. That was the moment when BlackBerry started their turnaround.
We should all remember November 4th 2013, as the date that BlackBerry got the critical defibrillator jolt that kept it alive and kicking.