BlackBerry no longer for sale, CEO John Chen says


“Reports of our death are greatly exaggerated,” Chen has told enterprise customers and investors in an open letter

BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen has written an open letter to its enterprise customers and investors telling them that the company is “very much alive” and that it is no longer for sale.

In September, the company signed a ‘letter of intent’ with consortium Fairfax Financial which signalled the manufacturer was for sale for around $4.7 billion (£3 billion).

Throughout October reports surfaced that BlackBerry was in talks with companies such as Google and Cisco regarding a sale (see here).

However, in November these and the Fairfax deal failed to result in a sale, with the consortium instead investing $1 billion (£610 million).

Chen has now said that BlackBerry has taken down its for sale sign, and reassured Fairfax that the investment made is secure.

Speaking of BlackBerry’s strategy for recovery, Chen said it would go back to its heritage and roots, targeting four areas: handsets, EMM (enterprise mobility management) solutions, cross-platform messaging and embedded systems.

It will also continue to invest in enterprise and security related research and development, it said.

The following is an extract from the letter: “To our valued enterprise customers and partners. You’re hearing a lot of noise in the market about BlackBerry. MDM [Mobile device management] vendors are undoubtedly inviting you to webinars and enticing you to switch off your BES [BlackBerry Enterprise Service].

“We want to set the story straight about BlackBerry in the Enterprise, both for our existing customers and for those about to implement BYOD and MDM.

“We are very much alive, thank you. Our “for sale” sign has been taken down and we are here to stay. BlackBerry recently announced it has entered into an agreement to receive a strategic investment from Fairfax Financial and other institutional investors, which represents a vote of confidence in the future of BlackBerry.

“The investments you’ve made in BlackBerry infrastructure and solutions are secure. I will keep the lines of communication open as we navigate through this transition. We’re going back to our heritage and roots – delivering enterprise-grade, end-to-end mobile solutions.

“As we refocus back to our roots, BlackBerry will target four areas: handsets, EMM [Enterprise Mobility Management] solutions, cross-platform messaging, and embedded systems. And, just as important, we will continue to invest in enterprise and security related R&D during our restructuring period.

“In short, reports of our death are greatly exaggerated.”