Kim Kardashian, how should we put this? BlackBerry CEO John Chen is just not that into you.
Last month, the reality TV star trumpeted her love for BlackBerry and said she's on a mission to make sure the phones don’t go extinct. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to have her as a celebrity spokesmodel, right?
No thanks, says Chen. Nothing personal, it's strictly business.
"I'm not into bringing celebrities on board," Chen said in an interview in Beijing at the APEC CEO summit. "It's not that it's a waste of money but a question of where you should spend the money today."
Chen said his company needs to invest in the next generation technology. "We need to do that first," he said.
One year into the job of turning BlackBerry around, the company is now on a firmer financial footing and Chen said he's looking for ways to grow. The consumer market, where Kardashian's name might have some appeal, isn't a priority. BlackBerry has pulled back from that market and is focusing on security, encryption, privacy for business and government clients, Chen said.
The company hasn't ruled out a return to the consumer market, but it's not in the cards for now, he said.
"I say, 'Never say never,'" Chen said. "You might see us come back strong in the consumer side but a few things have to happen first. We have to make sure the base business is solid."
To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.org