BlackBerry CEO John Chen outlines 'the way forward'

BlackBerry's interim chief executive is fighting back against competitors who claim the smartphone maker is on its last legs.

John Chen, who replaced former CEO Thorsten Heins after his ouster in November, said in an Op-Ed article Monday that he's "not focused on who BlackBerry used to be -- I'm focused on what BlackBerry will be today and in the future."

The company has been suffering from huge subscriber losses, executive turmoil and widespread layoffs for months, and for many consumers, the brand is no longer a go-to when it comes to buying a new mobile device.

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But Chen, 58, said BlackBerry is strong financially and well-positioned in the long run. In the last two months, he noted, his team has engineered a new strategy to stabilize the company. He said he would build out his leadership team in the coming weeks.

"It's been easy for competitors to promote negative stories about BlackBerry, focusing on the business of the past," he said in the Op-Ed article, titled "BlackBerry: The way forward" and posted on CNBC's website. "When it comes to enterprise, we're still the leader. Don't be fooled by the competition's rhetoric claiming to be more secure or having more experience than BlackBerry."

Chen previously served as chief executive and president of software vendor Sybase and noted that "this isn't the first time I've held the reins at a tech company facing challenging circumstances."

"I'm here to tackle this challenge because I believe we can succeed," he said.

This is the latest effort by the company to persuade the public that everything is OK. In October, BlackBerry published an open letter as part of an all-out media blitz designed to reassure nervous customers that the Canadian company would not go under.


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