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Blackberry CEO John Chen Focusing on Software to Save the Company from Dying

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Shahid Mondal
Shahid Mondal
A sports lover. Love exploring and writing about new technology. Avid follower of digital transformation.

The Canadian company BlackBerry was facing tough competition in the market in recent years. In order to survive in the market, the brand new Blackberry 10 OS was introduced by the QNX division of the company back in 2013. It turned out to be a huge failure. In 2016, the then CEO of the company John Chen took up a new strategy with one sole ambition of regaining the popularity of the brand, once famous worldwide.

In 2016, it was officially confirmed by BlackBerry Limited that instead of competing in the smartphone market directly, they will now be focusing on licensing its software and brand. Later that year, we witnessed a collaboration between Blackberry and TCL leading to the production of phones like DTEK50 and DTEK60. Presently, TCL is making as well as selling smartphones with Blackberry branding. The Blackberry KEYone and Blackberry Motion smartphones, released this year, have got positive responses from critics as well as from users.

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The $15 million earned by Blackberry as licensing fees by introducing Q2 in 2016 has increased 4 times this year resulting in $56 million. Apart from focusing on providing secure software for Financial Institutions that protect them from cyber threats, Blackberry is also concentrating in the automobile industry by providing software for infotainment systems and self-driving vehicles. These days you can find applications, exclusively from Blackberry in the Google Play Store as well.

Back in 2010, Chen was the CEO of Sybase. He struck a $6 million deal that allowed SAP to acquire Sybase. He had gained quite a reputation as a turnaround artist. In 2013, Chen joined BlackBerry as an interim CEO. Under his supervision, the company launched Android phones like BlackBerry Priv and BlackBerry Passport. Both of these phones received a good response.

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