BlackBerry CEO Chen: turnaround is an 80/20 likelihood; no offers have come in anyway

BlackBerry CEO Chen: turnaround is an 80/20 likelihood; no offers have come in anywaySince taking over as BlackBerry CEO in November, John Chen has had plenty to say about where things have been going wrong and what options the company has going forward.

However, it now seems one of those options – to sell all or part of the company to an outside party – is no longer on the table, simply because Chen hasn't received any offers.

The BlackBerry boss, who took over from previous incumbent Thorsten Heins, has said from the start he'd prefer to keep fighting to turn things around, but in April he conceded the company would have to consider any offers that came along unless things started improving.

However, it's back to Plan A it seems – at least that's the gist of Chen's remarks in a recent interview with Bloomberg.

“I don’t have any offers on my desk,” Chen admitted openly in the interview. “If people would like to talk, I mean, talk is not an offer.”

He remains adamant, though, that such measures will prove unnecessary anyway, rating BlackBerry's chances of success in turning things around at “better than 80/20”.

“I am comfortable with where the company is today, how we managed our technology, our businesses, the margins, the distribution channel or the new products that’s coming out,” Chen said.

“Whether it’s going to be good enough to be iconic again, OK, that’s something I need to chew on. I don’t know the answer to that question.”

Neither do we. The problem is now largely one of scale: the past few years have seen BlackBerry's revenues and its market share tumble dramatically, and in response the company has offloaded huge numbers of staff and other resources.

As a result, its stable of products has shrunk too, which increases the pressure on each one to be a success. Over the next few months the spotlight will fall on the uber-quirky Passport, a high-end handset with a square 4.5in screen running at a resolution of 1440 x 1440.

It's an exaggeration to say that BlackBerry's very future as a smartphone player rests on how well the Passport is received. But it isn't a huge one.

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