BlackBerry Ltd. (BB)'s new chiefexecutive officer, rejecting calls to exit the hardwarebusiness, gets a chance this week to convince investors he hasthe time and vision to revive a unit that's dragging sales backdown to 2007 levels.
Handpicked by BlackBerry's largest investor for the CEOjob, John Chen has begun building his case that the companyshould keep its unprofitable smartphone business, even asinvestors and analysts urge the company to focus on morelucrative software and services. Analysts are estimating a 42percent revenue drop in its quarterly results Dec. 20, puttingpressure on Chen to win over skeptics.
Chen's reluctance to part with hardware echoes thesentiment of his predecessor Thorsten Heins, who vowed when hejoined in January 2012 not to break up the company. UnlikeHeins, Chen is an outsider who has orchestrated a software-ledturnaround before, an experience that will afford him somepatience from investors.
"He's got the mandate -- I suppose the constraining factoris time," said James Cordwell, an analyst at Atlantic EquitiesLLP. "A change in direction is what people need."
BlackBerry names former SAP executive to head key business segment (The Globe and Mail)
Executive clear-out continues at loss-making BlackBerry (The Guardian)
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