BlackBerry CEO Asks for Patience With Company Strategy

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-07-10 Print this article Print

In speaking with investors, Heins several times said BlackBerry 10 devices are still in their infancy, with the Z10 having only been introduced in January.

"We are five months into our platform transformation that we anticipate will drive growth for future smartphone devices, greater enterprise efficiencies and new mobile computing opportunities for many years to come," he said. "While many will judge the company's short-term success on unit sales over a single quarter, we are not a devices-only company. We also run a global institute data network and services, businesses, delivering the best enterprise-to-enterprise and enterprise-to-workforce securities, and our strategy and investments this year are aligned to grow our business in these domains."

Heins also questioned whether BlackBerry was the victim of overly optimistic analyst expectations.

"Guidance is very difficult to provide during this transition in areas such as unit volumes, [BlackBerry Enterprise Services] 10 deployment, service fees and cost structures, as all of these areas are undergoing significant change as we speak. Because of this, we don't provide specific guidance," he said. "With little visibility on these items, expectation in the first quarter in areas the companies does not guide were beyond what the company actually could realistically achieve, and our results significantly … disappointed against [Wall] Street's expectations."

During a question-and-answer period, investor Vic Alboini of Jaguar Financial, who in the past has proposed breaking up the company and selling parts of it off, broached that issue again. Heins was noncommittal, but said that before any strategic option is chosen, the company needs to be in a strong position in the market and financially.

"You have to create value, and the value of the company 15 months ago was very less than what it is today," he said. "I was talking about the new product—BlackBerry 10, BES 10 and BlackBerry Messenger—going across platform, and that's all about driving scale into the market to increase that value of the company. This is what I and my management team are totally focused on. Are we ignoring the landscape around us? No … but the point is we've got to have a strong position in the market. We've got to have a strong position in the enterprise and in the services domain, and then whatever happens, we'll take a look at this."



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