The theme of the discussion was “The CEO As Transformer” and the critical role they play in enabling companies to survive and thrive. This is true, especially in cases where they face market disruption and economic downturn and have to reinvent themselves in order to ensure their survival.
CEO Chen discussed BlackBerry’s strategy as a software and services company with its focus on privacy and security rather than just one known for building devices. The latest BlackBerry,”The Priv”, was showcased by Chen as well.
In discussing why he moved very fast with a lot of changes when he first joined BlackBerry, he said the following:
The one thing you must do is you need to recognize that you must change. The path that you are on is not working. And if you start with that premise there are a whole bunch of techniques that you can deploy. But the decision has to be made very fast and you have to assemble a team that believes in you.
Chen also mentioned the importance of a company not only being able recognize and detect changes in markets, but being able to react quick enough to leverage its strengths to serve that market. When asked by a member of the audience the reason for BlackBerry’s decline in the handset business he mentioned the following:
Not being able to recognize and adapt to market changes was noted as one the biggest factor leading to the decline of several companies that were doing very well and were once market leaders. This not only negatively impacted BlackBerry under their former CEO’s, but also companies as Nokia, Kodak and others.
What’s really important from this revelation is that CEO John Chen is very much aware of the past and is positioning BlackBerry for the future by using its strengths to leverage areas such as EMM and positioning its security expertise that will be needed for new areas of growth such as the Internet of Things (IOT)
The interview is available on YouTube at the following link below:
We would like to hear your thoughts, so please let us know in the comments.
Below is a second interview of John Chen from Techonomy 2015