If Stephen Elop had joined Blackberry as their new CEO instead of going to Nokia when he left Microsoft several years ago, Blackberry would not be writing off approximately $1B worth of unsold smartphones, laying off 4500 staff, and looking for a buyer. Instead, Elop would have replaced QNX's operating system (bought for $100M and renamed Blackberry 10) with Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system, and they would have been off to the races. One thing would have been the same - Blackberry's investors would have probably still seen the same decline in their net worth as did Nokia's. Microsoft would have then bought Blackberry for much less than the $7.2B they paid for Nokia, and still have been able to pay Stephen 70% of his severance of $26M (Nokia paid the other 30%) as he returned to Microsoft. The difference would be that Canada's Blackberry would have survived in some form as part of Microsoft. The Blackberry Z30 (their most recent high end smartphone) running Microsoft's WP8 - not to be! And now Blackberry's fate is in the hands of Fairfax.
Chartwell Principal David J Snell on Strategy, Sales, Marketing and High-Technology with a focus on Mobile.