BlackBerry will maintain John Chen as chief executive officer for the next 5 years, that is through at least November 2023, the company announced today. BlackBerry credits Chen with the successful turnaround BlackBerry has had since 2013 when he eliminated the company’s mobile hardware business and shifting its primary focus to “investments in cyber-security and embedded software turning it to a software company that today are delivering the vast majority of the company’s revenue and growth.” After the Canadian Company previously called RIM or Research in Motion had seen significant decline both in their revenue figures and their share of the global and US markets, seeing stock prices fall from $100 from 2008 to $6
Blackberry has successfully pulled itself out of the turnaround and the dire circumstances it faced before he took over in 2013 and is now seeing industry standard profits. “I would not call us in a turnaround mode anymore,” Chen told Bloomberg TV in January. “We make make money, we generate growth in the right areas.”
“The next leg of our growth is with auto” Chen disclosed in that interview. Blackberry has now made a deal with Baidu to jointly develope self driving car technology using Blackberry’s QNX platform. It will serve as “the foundation for Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving open platform.” Blackberry also announced this January, a cloud-based cyber-security product called Jarvis which can scan automobile code for vulnerabilities – another step in the right direction.
BlackBerry is showing recovery and profitability which has seen increase in Blackberry’s stock prices more than 84%. This has made the Blackberry’s board of directors happy expressing tremendous confidence in Chen shown in todays announcement of John Chen’s contract extension as CEO of Blackberry for the next five years, that is up to 2023.