BlackBerry CEO Chen: We will not just be a ‘niche’ player

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) will not be a “niche” enterprise player in the market going into the future, according to CEO John Chen. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, when asked if he envisions BlackBerry being a global player or a more niche enterprise-focused company five years from now, Chen said, “No, why would I do a niche thing? I got a lot of CEO offers before. I’d like to become a strong software and infrastructure provider of everything that connects to each other.” However, he said he needs to take a long-term view and return the company to profitability.

Chen also said that BlackBerry’s manufacturing relationship with Foxconn to build its new low-cost Z3 smartphone is “an easy way for us to tell our consumers that we do care and we would like to pay back their loyalty. Also, in developing countries in Asia, today’s consumer is tomorrow’s enterprise. I’m really building a presence in the market that allows us to move up into the enterprise space.”

The BlackBerry chief said he knows there’s been a lot of negative news about BlackBerry amid its declining market share, but that as he is working to turn around the company “what people may not recognize and appreciate is that the company is really focused on execution. We’re building great technology and software.”

Chen said that a turnaround CEO is a lot “like an emergency room doctor. You have to act quickly, be decisive, not be phased by negative things. And you can’t be emotionally involved. You have to be clinical. Because once you’re emotionally involved you start not making the right decisions quick enough. Is it difficult? That’s my job. That’s what I do.” Article (sub. req.)