With just three weeks under his belt officially as CEO of BlackBerry, John Chen has already made some swift changes to the structure of the company with this morning's announcements. After Boulben, and Tear's departures were revealed, the first question on everyone's minds was who would be replacing them going forward? Apparently, no one will.
According to a BlackBerry spokesperson we talked to, the company is "eliminating the positions of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer." So, does this mean BlackBerry won't market their products anymore? Obviously not.
We already know John Chen wants to keep pumping out smartphones in the near future, so they'll obviously have to sell them. The press release that was sent out this morning also gives us some clues as to what's most likely going to happen. Chen is quoted as saying, "I look forward to working more directly with the talented teams of engineers, and the sales and marketing teams around the world to facilitate the BlackBerry turn-around and to drive innovation."
Chen seems to be a very hands-on CEO so far, and this could be another indication of that. Obviously, he himself won't be responsible for the company's marketing, but he may not want to leave the responsibility of making final decisions to someone else.
They could also be fusing positions together. It's possible Chen wants one person in charge of marketing and sales as a whole, as opposed to two separate teams under two different directors.
There's no doubt the lack of a CMO, and COO will be a hot topic on the December 20th earnings call. I'm sure investors will want to know how BlackBerry plans on going forward without a CMO and a COO. Let's see what Chen has to say about that. I get the feeling he's got a plan in mind.