'We need to make money,' says BlackBerry CEO

BlackBerry's 2015 money making plan
BlackBerry's 2015 money making plan   

BlackBerry CEO John Chen told CNBC on Wednesday the smartphone-maker is solely focused on making money and building a cash war chest to fuel innovation.

"We need to make money ... we're fixated about balance sheets, cash flow. Make sure we don't burn cash. Make sure we start generating cash," Chen said on "Squawk Alley." "Make sure we have a war chest that we could build up to invest in future innovation, channels, geography and so forth."

BlackBerry's platform of growth
BlackBerry's platform of growth   

Chen, who took the helm of BlackBerry in November 2013, thinks the company could be cash flow positive within the next few quarters.

Of course, BlackBerry has faced fierce competition from Apple, Google and Samsung, among other smartphone-makers. But one of BlackBerry's biggest challenges has been that a sizable chunk of its revenue has come from activation fees, Chen said.

BlackBerry gets a significant amount of its revenue from activation fees for the BlackBerry 7 or BlackBerry OS, but that's been declining at a 15 percent clip, Chen said.

John Chen, chief executive officer of BlackBerry.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
John Chen, chief executive officer of BlackBerry.

"That's law of gravity. I can't fix that," Chen said. "What I can do is to replace it."

In turn, Chen hopes customers will pay up for BES 12, a cloud-based platform that will debut next month. If BES 12 is a hit, it could help replace the lost revenue from declining activation fees, he said.

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"If we can do that, we are at a cost base that will make us money because we focus on margin management a lot as you can see in the last three to four quarters," Chen said.