BlackBerry Forms Special Committee to Help Decide the Future of the Company
Trading BlackBerry shares came to a halt this morning as the firm created a special committee to explore strategic alternatives, with talk of a possible bid to go private in order to fix its problems while out of the public eye. For those of you who have been unaware, BlackBerry has been thinking of going private in the wake of disappointing sales of its latest flagship products, which most recently resulted in a quarterly loss of $84 million when the company shipped only 2.7 million devices running its latest operating system.
If the company went private, it would at least remove the burden of having to justify quarterly performances to shareholders for BlackBerry’s executives. The company has been continually cutting staff and closing operations in order to reduce expenditures and chief executive Thorsten Heins along with the rest of the company’s executive staff, have been under heavy scrutiny in light of BlackBerry’s performances.
The staff reductions seem to be a continuation of a months-long process that has seen BlackBerry cutting operations in order to increase efficiencies and scale the company correctly to its user base. For several years before, Apple’s iPhone and several devices running the Android operating system rose to dominate the smartphone industry. BlackBerry produced dozens of phone models per year but recent months have seen the company scaling back that production to just three new devices running BlackBerry 10 this year.
The other options that BlackBerry may have include a joint venture or a possible sale to another tech company. Lenovo has previously been mentioned as a candidate to acquire BlackBerry, adding a developed smartphone segment very similarly as it did a computing segment when it bought IBM’s PC division in 2005. In March, Lenovo’s chief executive made several headlines with his honesty in telling a French newspaper that acquiring BlackBerry is a move that just made sense but the company hasn’t made any public overtures since then.
The Canadian company’s BlackBerry 10 OS is currently in fourth position among the mobile operating systems available, trailing behind Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone. It holds this position largely due to the fact that there are virtually no other major operating systems currently in wide release. The past quarter saw Windows Phone clearly capturing its lead over BlackBerry with Nokia shipping more Windows Phone devices than BlackBerry did smartphones in total.
Either way, we’ll have to wait and see what decision the special committee reaches.
) via The Verge