John Sculley’s favourite variety of fruit might have changed
Former Apple CEO John Sculley is reportedly exploring the possibility of a bid for BlackBerry, becoming the latest high profile name to be linked with a move for the struggling Canadian manufacturer.
According to the Globe and Mail, Sculley said he could not comment on the matter but added he was a long time BlackBerry fan and user of its smartphones.
He did say however that anyone who takes over the company would need to have sufficient management experience and a strategic plan in place to have any chance of turning things around.
Steve Jobs clashes
Sculley’s time at Apple is best remembered for his clashes with founder Steve Jobs. Hired from the role of president of PepsiCo in 1983, he was tasked with making Apple more corporate, selling Apple machines in competition with IBM and others. Jobs was sacked in 1985 by the the board of directors, who sided with Sculley in the ongoing power struggle between the two men.
Sculley was himself ousted by the board in 1993, when Apple’s bet on the PowerPC chip was failing against the Intel architecture used by standard “Wintel” PCs. Sculley has since said that Jobs was not a terribly good executive in the 1980s and that much of what Jobs achieved at Apple after his return in 1996 was probably a result of what he learnt in his years in the wilderness.
BlackBerry has already signed a preliminary sale agreement with its largest shareholder Fairfax Holdings, which is currently undertaking due diligence. However doubts have been raised about the firm’s ability to raise the required funds to complete its £2.9 billion takeover.
Other parties have until 4 November to register their interest, with Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo among the companies linked, along with Google, Intel and SAP. Former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis is also believed to be considering a bid, as is private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.
If BlackBerry reneges on its deal with Fairfax, it could be liable to pay a £90 million penalty, although it would be off the hook if the Prem Watsa-led firm is unable to stump up the cash.
BlackBerry has had a bumpy year! Try our 2013 BlackBerry quiz!