1. John Arnold's Avatar
    This week we learned that Blackberry Management could make up to ~$85,000,000 if Blackberry is sold and the management team is let go. Lots of thought obviously went into the Board's decision and I am not going to comment on all the issues the Board would have addressed. I do think that now is as good a time as any to reflect on the performance of the senior management team - here's my 2 cents:

    Strategy - D+

    Blackberry's decision to design, produce and market the Z10, Q10 and Q5 was premised on two "bets" that management got horribly wrong. Bet 1 - There are 'enough' people still around ('blackberry people' - i.e. hyper-connected, multi-taskers, blah blah) that would rush to purchase this phone. All market data suggests this assumption was wrong. Bet 2 - Blackberry could make money selling these phone. Industry trends continue to show that only 2 companies can make an appropriate return in this space: samsung and apple.

    Strategy is also about focus. Blackberry has a solid offering with BES 10 and Secure Workspace looks like a winner. Had they pushed these offerings earlier, they may not have had so much trouble trying to take back share from Air Watch and Mobile Iron. Similarly, BBM could have been a social network...imagine it had gone cross platform 2 years ago and achieved just 20% of Facebooks valuation...wooo.

    Bottom line, Blackberry's Management makes major errors when it comes to strategy decisions.

    Execution - C+

    First the good news - Blackberry did an excellent job growing its cash balance, despite surviving off its slowing BB7 sales and service revenues. BB also executed its restructuring program with a solid degree of focus and pace. One could argue that they took to long to bring the platform to market - I think that is a strategy mistake (i.e. they focused on too many things) - less of an execution issue. I am impressed they put together a solid OS given its was their first kick of the can with QNX.

    The real setback from an execution perspective was in their marketing. I am really not sure there is much I need to say here. Not only could they not 'promote' the product well - they could not even aggressively defend themselves against numerous false accusations.

    From a sales perspective, they continued to make the bonehead decision of serving major telcos from Waterloo. This really symbolizes that lack of customer focus within the company (i.e. while the telco is not technically a customer, they are pretty damn important to BB)

    Talent and Capabilities - C-

    The good news - solid additions to the Board (Prem, the Private Equity guy). I also think their General Counsel is a 'player'. He is pretty assertive about protecting Blackberry's interests and they seem to have played the patent game pretty well.

    The bad news is that they did lose a lot of talent in the past 18 months. I don't think these folks were all starts, but to lose your head of global sales, your head of sales for India, the guys who worked to create the hub, etc...well, you can't say these people were all morons given the importance of the jobs they had. What we got instead was Frank, who did a lousy job with the marketing. Tough to judge Kristian...what is most disappointing, is the lack of a real star to the team. Someone who could have at least bought Blackberry some 'extra time'...like Marissa Mayer at Yahoo...not clear whether she is good, but she is giving that dog of a company some forward momentum.

    At the end of the day, I think that management has failed to perform adequately. On the one hand, I sympathize with them...this is a brutally competitive industry in which quick decisions could have fatal consequences...this is not a hydro company, retailer, or government agency...this is equivalent to playing 2 speed chess games at the same time. So, I would be open to brining in a great team and paying them a whack of money (i.e. $85,000,000). Unfortunately, I think we got the wrong team for this job. So what comes out of this...nothing, it is too late.
    08-17-13 07:41 PM
  2. howarmat's Avatar
    And prem just left also, not sure if that makes a difference in the grading. Also the announcement recently has really shook things up
    08-17-13 08:24 PM
  3. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    [QUOTE=

    At the end of the day, I think that management has failed [/QUOTE]


    So the new management comes in, launches a new platform, stock was 6 and change, now we are getting 10.2 (even though 10.1 is better than most) and stock is over 10....seems to me they are doing just fine?


    Posted via CB10
    cjcampbell and Thunderbuck like this.
    08-17-13 08:45 PM
  4. robin11's Avatar
    strategy: given the limited cash on hand and cash flow after creating a new OS and hardware, management went with the rolling release of the Z10, Q10 etc. The result in the first quarter was 2.5 million OS10 phones sold and a reversal of declining revenue and since then, the release of the Q10, Q5 and soon the A30. I award an A + honours with distinction. The second part of strategy is focusing on enterprise, rollout of BES 10 and MDM for iphone and android. This is the fastest way to build recurring, high margin revenue from enterprise subscriptions. Once this gains traction and starts showing up on the balance sheet, the third part of the strategy is that Blackberry can then increase focus and marketing budgets on its growing hardware and software eco system to consumers, both on Blackberry and cross platform licensing, beginning with BBM on all Samsung phones in Africa, and soon Android and iPhone in North America. With QNX in 60% of auto's, and about to increase after the deal last week with Panasonic's Auto division, no doubt apps developers will be getting more interested in writing auto apps, both for enterprise and consumers......for a small company trying to re invent itself, or in business parlance, restructure, Blackberry and its management, especially Thorsten Heins should be lauded for what Blackberry has achieved to date, especially when you consider Blackberry is up against competitors that are at least an order of magnitude larger, and have $50 billion or more cash on hand...I don't think Blackberry needs to be taken private, and I believe the recent resignation of Prem Watsa and all the talk of seeking strategic alternatives is akin to the Ali "rope-a-dope", setting up for the 8th round knockout in both enterprise and consumer spaces:-)
    08-17-13 09:22 PM
  5. njblackberry's Avatar
    So the new management comes in, launches a new platform, stock was 6 and change, now we are getting 10.2 (even though 10.1 is better than most) and stock is over 10....seems to me they are doing just fine?


    Posted via CB10
    When Thor became CEO the stock was over $16. Not $6.
    danprown likes this.
    08-17-13 09:28 PM
  6. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    When Thor became CEO the stock was over $16. Not $6.
    I think you would agree "they" were kinda stuck with "what they had"...if not, look forward to debating/countering your reply.

    And...Not "named" CEO, actually executing in charge

    Posted via CB10
    cjcampbell likes this.
    08-17-13 10:35 PM
  7. njblackberry's Avatar
    Mighty angry and defensive. May need a new forum for that.
    Mr. Heins was not exactly an outsider. He was named CEO at a time when the stock was over $16. It is at $10.51 18 months later.

    He took a poorly executing company and cut costs. He is an excellent cost cutting operations manager. Not a CEO.

    Spin away.
    danprown likes this.
    08-17-13 11:18 PM
  8. Calvin Haynes's Avatar
    John....
    Your points are very well made but even in all of that BB still had a shot to pull this off. I can't knock them for the os due to it being a ground up process. But I can knock them for pricing it out of the market. There were to many problems with the os for that type of price tag. Even the Q10....250 bucks...against the S4, iphone 5, HTC one....come on.

    That super bowl commercial...give me a break....I'd been telling friends for weeks about the BB commercial that was going to run during the super bowl....they were like really....they have something new coming out....I said yeah and it will blow these phone away...(this after viewing all the leaks with Vivek and Gadway) after it ran they blew my 9860 up with stuff like...."what the hell was that!".

    Now on to the hardware....its plastic....the Z10 is plastic....why in the hell would I have paid 200 dollars on contract for a plastic phone with a unmature os. The Q10 feels alittle better than the Z10.... but feels no way near as refined in the hand as the 9900 does, no way near.

    Yes...I know...samsung phones are plastic....but they have room to make plastic phones....hell everyone is buying them...HTC hit it out of the park with the One...aluminum...man that phone feels great....it was voted best smart phone among consumers (in some stupid poll).....

    There was no reason for BB not to have hit it out of the park on hardware....no reason....think about the Q10...all metal....with aluminum accents....a bit taller and a bit wider...say a 4" screen...same frets but with the keys alittle larger....now that's a sexy beast!!!! and running 10.2...child please (in my Chad Johnson voice).....

    I am a blackberry fanatic....8900, bold 9000, 9700, 9800, 9860 and PB.....I got the Z10 and I was very unhappy....the only app that I really wanted was "words with friends" because all my family members play it....I sideloaded it and it kept crashing....the phone kept rebooting...and blackberry bridge was and still is horrible....blackberry bridge with os 7 was super super super awesome....I could text from my PB....how could they have screwed that up....there is no excuse for that....bridge should have been better not worse. So i took it back and got a Droid DNA...a phone that had been out since 11/2012 and it's a beast.

    It breaks my heart and I really do miss my BB....I guess there is nothing left to say.
    GreenCopperz, imz and Thunderbuck like this.
    08-17-13 11:23 PM
  9. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    Mighty angry and defensive.

    Spin away.
    Lol....not at all, enjoying a fire and some great company...we (everyone) are laughing at your one sided reply's...carry on.


    Posted via CB10
    Last edited by Shanerredflag; 08-17-13 at 11:54 PM.
    cjcampbell likes this.
    08-17-13 11:34 PM
  10. birdman_38's Avatar
    This should be moved to the new "Armchair CEO" forum
    08-17-13 11:42 PM
  11. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    Lol...agree

    Posted via CB10
    cjcampbell likes this.
    08-17-13 11:44 PM
  12. z10fido's Avatar
    So the new management comes in, launches a new platform, stock was 6 and change, now we are getting 10.2 (even though 10.1 is better than most) and stock is over 10....seems to me they are doing just fine?


    Posted via CB10
    The stock was well over 20 if I recall when thor grabbed the title. 6 or 10 is all the same. There is not even an ounce of success here. The company has such a road map of bad things ahead that is why it trades below it's value.

    Posted via CB10
    08-18-13 01:33 AM
  13. Branta's Avatar
    Now on to the hardware....its plastic....the Z10 is plastic....why in the hell would I have paid 200 dollars on contract for a plastic phone with a unmature os. The Q10 feels alittle better than the Z10.... but feels no way near as refined in the hand as the 9900 does, no way near.

    Yes...I know...samsung phones are plastic....but they have room to make plastic phones....hell everyone is buying them...HTC hit it out of the park with the One...aluminum...man that phone feels great....it was voted best smart phone among consumers (in some stupid poll).....
    As a radio engineer I know exactly what problems an all-metal phone would bring, and how it could cause unpredictable performance. A simple metallic rim forced by Blow Jobs and his designers iPhone 4 required an external antenna and brought "Antennagate" to Apple with a whole load of pain for the company. If you still don't understand, go search wikipedia for "faraday cage" then try to find something about "antenna tuning" and RF burns. I can tell you that contact with an active transmitting antenna is something I avoid at all costs, and cellular frequencies are getting close to the microwave bands. You already know you can cook meat with microwave... in fact the frequency used for a kitchen microwave (2450 MHz) is between the 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz cellular bands. When it comes to contact with an antenna, distance is your friend and even a few millimeters gap makes a big difference to the safety issues (inverse square law).

    Next time, "Engage brain before operating mouth".
    Shanerredflag likes this.
    08-18-13 04:40 AM
  14. BBThemes's Avatar
    As a radio engineer I know exactly what problems an all-metal phone would bring
    you`ve obviously not heard of this little company called nokia. they bashed out loads of phones that were mainly metal. never seemed to be an issue for them.


    A simple metallic rim forced by Blow Jobs and his designers iPhone 4
    Next time, "Engage brain before operating mouth".
    seems a little unprofessional for such name calling from a mod tbh.
    08-18-13 06:14 AM
  15. birdman_38's Avatar
    seems a little unprofessional for such name calling from a mod tbh.
    Yup. Despite the immature Steve Jobs reference, it was a very intelligent post until the end.
    08-18-13 10:12 AM
  16. CairnsRock's Avatar
    you`ve obviously not heard of this little company called nokia. they bashed out loads of phones that were mainly metal. never seemed to be an issue for them.






    seems a little unprofessional for such name calling from a mod tbh.
    The new reality: mods are trolls on the Armchair CEO site.
    08-18-13 12:20 PM
  17. Mudassir Ayub's Avatar
    G.

    Posted via CB10
    08-18-13 04:40 PM

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