Yesterday was a big day for BlackBerry. However, things turned out completely different than what everyone has expected. There were no additional bids for the company and Fairfax didn’t managed to acquire it. Perhaps the fund has banks to blame for this, or perhaps BlackBerry’s board decided differently. Here’s what happened.
1. BlackBerry managed to raise $1 billion in fresh money from a group of investors that included Fairfax Financial Holdings. This in turn secured a role of “Lead Director and Chair of the Compensation Nomination and Governance Committee” to Fairfax’s CEO Prem Watsa.
2. The current CEO Thorsten Heins stepped down and will be replaced by interim CEO – John S. Chen.
The new CEO was previously at the helm of Sybase and it managed to get it back on track. We’ll see whether he’ll be able to do the same with what used to be the most valuable Canadian company. Mr. Chen said he won’t be selling BlackBerry’s handset business, saying that that the company has “enough ingredients to build a long-term sustainable business.”
That’s all cool but we still have to wonder what’s next for BlackBerry and I keep rooting for finding a partner that could help it reach new markets and achieve economies of scale. Again, some of the Chinese vendors seem ideal for this as they have those missing ingredients.
Whatever the strategy BlackBerry’s board approves, the CEO’s job would be to convince the public they’re here to stay and that users have nothing to fear when buying a BlackBerry smartphone. We’ll see how that pans out…