"We are not only interested in managing BlackBerry devices. We are interested in managing all devices that you would like to speak to each other," he said. "To achieve our dream of being a major player in M2M requires more partnerships with others," including telecom companies eager to participate.
Focus on the enterprise business
Chen, viewed by tech industry insiders as a turnaround artist, wants BlackBerry to zero in on its core base of corporate and government clients, and on its services arm, which secures mobile devices on the internal networks of big clients.
Chen was credited with turning around Sybase in the late 1990s. Sybase, an enterprise software company, was eventually acquired by SAP in 2010.
Canada's BlackBerry, which has lost most of the smartphone market to Apple Inc's iPhone and gadgets powered by Google Inc's Android operating system, has laid off about 9,500 employees, or more than half its work force over the last three years, as it has rushed to cut costs in the face of mounting losses.
The company, a one-time pioneer in the smartphone arena, has seen its fortunes fade dramatically within a span of less than five years. BlackBerry, which boasted a global smartphone market share of roughly 20 percent back in 2009, has since seen that share shrink to less than 2 percent as of the end of 2013.
Chen, who joined BlackBerry after it was unable to find a buyer in a sale process last year, said he was not fazed by recent acquisitions of companies offering similar services, such as Facebook's $19 billion purchase of mobile messaging service Whatsapp.
"We are not going to go up against Whatsapp. We are going to be more focused on secure communications, secure messaging," he said of BlackBerry's BBM platform.
Chen said he was determined not to lose focus on the corporate and other customers that helped it build its global reach in the first place, and would not be tempted back into the much larger but more fickle consumer smartphone race.
"We are not going to spend any more money to maintain the latest version of 'Angry Birds,'" Chen said, referring to a wildly popular consumer mobile videogame.