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Chen on why he wants challenge of running BlackBerry: ‘I am abnormal’

BlackBerry CEO Chen Interview

New BlackBerry CEO John Chen definitely gets points for honest self-reflection. In an interview with Re/code, Chen admits that taking on a company facing as many challenges as BlackBerry does isn’t something that a lot of other CEOs would relish. However, Chen says that he does his best work in the face of adversity and that he would feel terrible if he simply left the company while it was still in dire straits.

“I would really kick myself if I don’t try it,” Chen told Re/code. “Any normal exec or CEO would have probably said ‘I want a safer, easier job.’ I am abnormal.”

Chen’s admitted abnormality is somewhat different from his more straight-laced predecessor Thorsten Heins, who left the company this past fall. Make no mistake, though, Chen is in touch enough with reality to know that he has a big challenge in front of him. In fact, he goes so far as to compare BlackBerry right now to a sick patient while also claiming that he’s the right surgeon to fix it up.

“How you get sick is not the concern of the doctor,” Chen said. “The concern is how to fix you… If you are an emergency room doctor, you should not be afraid of the blood.”

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.