BlackBerry Ltd has no plans to shut down its loss-making handset business, incoming interim Chief Executive John Chen said on November 4, 2013, adding that the smartphone maker has sufficient resources to stage a turnaround.
Forgive us for thinking we’ve been here before. When Thorsten Heins took the reins of BlackBerry, then called Research In Motion, in January 2012, he was supposed to be the man who would lead the embattled smartphone maker through the wilderness.
The electrical engineer is a telecom and tech industry veteran, and became chief operating officer at Sybase in 1997 before being named CEO and president the next year. While helming Sybase, he became known as a pioneer in the then-radical concept of enterprise mobility. Chen built Sybase into a leading provider of mobile data as well as analytics solutions before German software giant SAP AG bought it out for $5.8 billion in 2010. Chen retired from the company last November, saying that the time was right.
“It’s time for me to relinquish the ownership of this franchise,” Chen said at the time. “I always thought about this like marrying off your daughter. You know it’s the right thing to do, you just want to hold on a little more – but it’s time to move on to other challenges.”
In many respects, BlackBerry’s challenges align nicely with the skills Chen has brought to bear throughout his career. He managed to reverse Sybase’s fortunes – it had incurred net losses for four straight years when he took over in 1998 – and managed to convince a skeptical market that mobile technology wasn’t just viable, but it represented the future of business.
BlackBerry will pay its new interim CEO a base salary of $1 million, a bonus of up to twice that amount as well as stock awards potentially worth some $85 million, in the hopes of turning around Canada's most prominent technology company. Should Chen be fired without cause, he will be paid up to $6 million, according to the filing.
Chen's appointment came after BlackBerry stunned many on Monday when it abandoned plans to sell itself and instead opted to raise funds via a $1 billion notes offering led by Fairfax, its largest shareholder.
Here's a little poem written by my grandson (14 yrs old) to my husband on his birthday:
Happy Birthday to a guy who's so far left, he can't go right,
Happy Birthday to a guy who's not too bright.
His name is Brian, we all love him,
Even though he invested in RIM
He picks bad stocks but that's okay,
I still hope he has a Happy Birthday