Monday, January 6, 2014

Blackberry Interim CEO Rebuilds the Jenga Tower

(image credit)
(image credit)
As a game, Jenga begins with a neatly-stacked tower of blocks.  Then, each player takes a turn pulling a block off.  Of course, the tower becomes increasingly unstable, as blocks are removed.  The player who pulls the block that makes the tower collapse loses the game.  

So writer Zack Whitaker makes a telling and fitting reference to this game in his article headline - BlackBerry rebuilds key talent Jenga tower with former HTC executive.  After another failed round of efforts in recent months, notably to sell the ailing company, Blackberry is trying to right the ship once again.  Interim CEO John Chen is playing a kind of reverse Jenga by bringing in new top level talent to restabilize a teetering tower.  

Says Chen, in hiring former HTC executive Ron Louks:
"On our path to return BlackBerry to profitability, nothing is more important than remaining deeply connected to our customers and designing and delivering secure products that exceed their expectations."
We know that high technology firms, from Google, to Yahoo! and Facebook, are acquiring companies not so much for their products or markets, or even patents per se, but for their innovative and entrepreneurial talent.  So what Chen is doing isn't necessarily all that novel.

But is he hiring the right talent, and will said talent be enough to rebuild the Jenga tower.

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