If you are a fan of the Blackberry, as President Obama and just about the entire Washington D.C. Beltway area is, You will be glad to know that they are getting an infusion of cash to keep them alive for the foreseeable future. They are also canning their present CEO, Thorsten Heins in about two weeks.
Fairfax Financial Holdings along with some unnamed institutional investors are coughing up the cash to keep BlackBerry solvent. Some board members are also resigning and John Chen (former CEO of Sybase) has been tapped to orchestrate a change of direction and develop a sound strategy for the future. Mr. Chen will be BlackBerry’s interim CEO while he leads the search for a permanent replacement for Mr. Heins.
Many of my friends have been hooked on the BlackBerry since it first debuted with its now-iconic keyboard. As I said, our government runs on BlackBerry devices and there would be an uproar if BlackBerry disappeared.
There is still widespread support for BlackBerry devices and software despite the naysayers out there that have been predicting doom for them for years. Just take a look at the BlackBerry Messenger. It has just been released and gained more than 20 million new users in the first week’s release on iTunes and the Android Play Store. With that kind of support, I predict that BlackBerry will stay alive in the business and government marketplaces.
I do believe that BlackBerry needs to stop thinking about the consumer market. Let’s face it, their Z 10 entry into the consumer arena was a total flop. I call it a colossal Billion Dollar Flop! Well, it was about $934 Million and that’s a cool billion in my book.
BlackBerry needs to concentrate on better and more innovative products in the business and enterprise environments. They were the first to implement the “wipe” function that allowed the unit to be erased if it was lost. It is also a favorite in corporations when time comes to terminate people who didn’t wish relinquish their BlackBerry, corporate lists and confidential information.
They were up at the top at one time. They should be able to do it again.