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Chen says there’s a 50% chance his BlackBerry comeback plan fails

BlackBerry CEO Chen Interview

One of the things that’s been the most interesting about new BlackBerry CEO John Chen is that he’s been refreshingly blunt about some of the challenges facing his company, which he’s likened in the past to a sick patient in desperate need of emergency surgery. In an interview with The Financial Times, Chen says that his BlackBerry turnaround plan’s odds of success are 50% and that everything will come down to how well he and his team execute.

Overall, Chen struck an optimistic tone in the interview and explained the need to maintain a positive attitude in the face of daunting odds. He said that losing key corporate and government customers has certainly hurt morale but he also said that his goal was to make sure that BlackBerry kept the new customers it got by delivering superior services and products and by focussing on “our heritage and roots — delivering enterprise-grade, end-to-end mobile solutions.”

Chen’s turnaround plan has several different key parts, including selling low-end BlackBerry devices where it can through its partnership with Foxconn, monetizing its popular BBM mobile messaging app, and becoming a much bigger player in the cross-platform corporate mobile device management market. Chen expects to have BlackBerry’s finances stabilized by next year and for BlackBerry to be consistently profitable a year after that.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.