Sun, 10 Mar 2013 08:45:00 GMT | By The Hindu Business Line

BlackBerry India MD’s exit may dampen BB10 party

BlackBerry India Managing Director's decision to resign may prove a dampener to the handset maker's process of rolling out its flagship product to revive sagging sales

BlackBerry India MD’s exit may dampen BB10 party (© Reuters)

New Delhi: BlackBerry India Managing Director Sunil Dutt’s decision to resign at a time when the handset maker is in the process of rolling out its flagship product could act as a dampener to the initial gains made by the company. The Canadian phone maker had launched the Z10 smartphone on February 25 in India based on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, widely believed to be the make-or-break product for the phone maker.

The initial response from consumers has made BlackBerry raise its sales forecast by 40 per cent. The next phone based on BB10 is expected to be launched in April. Therefore, Dutt’s exit could not have been more poorly timed, and has led to speculation of things not working out between him and the Canadian management. “The timing is clearly not right although internally we haven’t yet been given any reason for Dutt’s resignation. It sends out wrong signals but we will have to live through it,” said an executive who reported to Dutt.

Individuals close to Dutt said he has been planning to exit for a while but wanted to see through the initial launch. “Plans related to the launch and rollout for the next year have been put in place. So there should not be any impact on BB10 sales,” said another company executive, on condition of anonymity.

The success of BB10 devices is crucial to the company’s survival as it face stiff competition from Samsung, Nokia and Apple. Some rival players likened Dutt’s exit to that of a captain leaving a sinking ship. But BlackBerry executives said the handset company is going full steam ahead, riding on the initial success of its new devices.

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