John Chen will continue to be BlackBerry’s CEO through at least November 2023, the company announced today. BlackBerry praises Chen for turning things around the company where at one point the company was doomed. He eliminated the company’s mobile hardware business and shifted its focus to “investments in cybersecurity and embedded software that today are delivering the vast majority of the company’s revenue and growth.”
While the company announced Chen’s contract extension in today’s press release, BlackBerry’s board of directors expressed “tremendous confidence” in Chen, saying “John engineered a successful turnaround and has the company repositioned to apply its strengths and assets to the Enterprise of Things, an emerging category with massive potential.”
It’s not just the company itself that feels like they’re turned around. Chen feels the same way that the company has done a turnaround and successful pulled itself out of very tough situations when he came into the company in 2013. The company has continuously beat financial expectations in recent quarters and this year continues to look promising.
“I would not call us in a turnaround mode anymore,” Chen told Bloomberg TV in January. “We make money, we generate growth in the right areas.” Those areas are primarily cybersecurity and enterprise. We’re very good in the cybersecurity, enterprise for regulated industries in particular like the banks and the governments and the healthcare.”
In an interview, Chen said, “The next leg of our growth is with auto.” BlackBerry and Baidu have partnered up together to develop self-driving vehicle technology that utilizes BlackBerry’s QNX platform. QNX will serve as “the foundation of Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving open platform.” Not to mention that in January, BlackBerry announced Jarvis, which is a cloud-based cybersecurity product that is able to scan automobile code for vulnerabilities.
“We’re going to go beyond auto and go into the embedded world — what I call the EoT or IoT world,” Chen said. “It’s a huge market, and it’s growing, and we’re very fortunate that we can play well in it.”
We also previously learned that BlackBerry sued Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp over allegedly infringing on its messaging patents.