Blackberry, the smartphone maker based in Canada, has completed its first turnaround phase in a plan of two years. The company now will focus on profitability and not be spread thin by trying to launch a large number of new devices, said its CEO.
John Chen, who took over the top job at Blackberry in November of 2013, moved quickly trying to get the one-time darling of investors back on the right track.
The smartphone maker has sold a number of assets, entered into partnerships to lower its costs of manufacturing and broadened its offerings of apps. The company has also raised a great deal of cash through sales of real estate in Waterloo, Canada where it is headquartered.
Once the company is again profitable, Chen said he would do everything in his power that it never has a loss again.
The 59-year old executive, who was born in Hong Kong, became well known in the industry at Sybase, a database software company that he was able to rescue from its struggles and sold 10 years later for $5.8 billion to SAP in 2010.
Chen said that while at Sybase, he was able to lead the company to 60 straight quarters of profitability, even when the bubble burst on the dotcom craze.
Chen said he believes that Blackberry’s worst is now behind it.
One year ago, the industry pioneer for smartphones was amidst a painful period of restructuring, scrambling in an attempt to find a good suitor while playing down reports in the media of its demise.
A year after the CEO came aboard, Blackberry has regained some swagger, the company is once again hiring and although steady profits have yet to be turned, the CEO has started to acquire smaller companies while investing in growth.
However, Blackberry is still not free of problems or worries. Even the CEO stops short of claiming the turnaround successful, but the talk about the smartphone maker fading away, has lessened.
Even though there has been progress, 25 out of 37 polled analysts have the stock as a hold, with just one as a buy and the rest list it as sell.
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