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BlackBerry CEO Heins shows grit, defiance, humility at AGM

BlackBerry
BlackBerry
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins: “”I’m here with my team to create jobs, not destroy jobs”.

After BlackBerry’s disappointing Q1, this morning’s annual general meeting was set to be more than contentious. But the real story that emerged from the meeting was the determination shown by its rookie CEO, Thorsten Heins.

“I’m here with my team to create jobs, not destroy jobs,” Heins said in response to questions about the company selling itself off.

That defiant tone might have worried those who want BlackBerry sold in the near term, but it elated many supporters who roundly cheered many of Heins’s statements, which balanced resolve and candor.

As the meeting settled in, Globe and Mail Report on Business technology reporter Omar El Akkad, tweeting live from the AGM in Waterloo, said the question of guidance for BlackBerry’s Q1 was a subject that bristled Heins.

omar tweet

But mobile device analyst Kevin Restivo noted that the company would not change its guidance policy:

kevin restivo tweet

The voices to break up BlackBerry may be the loudest, but many don’t believe the company should take that route, as shown by this tweet from Canadian Press reporter David Friend:

david friend tweet

While Heins admitted that the launch of the Z10 could have gone better, he also refused to admit it was a disaster. The CEO’s levity and humility appeared to be winning over some of the crowd, as evidenced by this tweet from Yahoo Finance columnist Shane Schick:

shaneschick tweet

El Akkad summarized Heins’s thoughts on where BlackBerry is right now. Heins says the company is currently in the second stage of three stage plan. Stage one, he says, was to change the company’s culture and make key hires. Stage two was to launch BlackBerry 10 and explore the cross-platform opportunities of BlackBerry Messenger.

Stage three is the place every BlackBerry shareholder wants to get to, but Heins cautioned that the company won’t be there as soon as they might have hoped, pegging 2013 as a “transition” year and 2014 as “a year of investment”.

omar stage 3

The markets reacted positively to the AGM…

bb quote

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About The Author /

Nick Waddell
Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

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