BlackBerry Talks to White House to Keep Barack Obama Using Their Devices

In an effort to keep Barack Obama and his presidential suite using BlackBerry devices, chief executive officer John Chen has held recent talks with the White House.

“As part of my meeting customers I have briefed the White House from an IT perspective,” Chen said in an interview last week with Bloomberg Television in California.

“It’s just customer outreach—and they were nice enough to share some of their thoughts with me,” he added.

Chen says he has met with 100 clients since taking over as CEO in November as he refocuses BlackBerry on the enterprise.

Quoth the Financial Post:

Chen is trying to shore up the Canadian smartphone maker’s base of heavy e-mail users in government and business, clients who rely on the sophisticated encryption technology its software and servers provide. Last week, at a trade show in Barcelona, Chen revealed the Q20, a phone he calls the Classic because it brings back buttons dropped from recent models, and he introduced a more secure version of the BBM instant-messaging service.

Under Chen’s leadership, BlackBerry’s stock has surged 55%. However, BlackBerry is still valued at a small fraction of its 2008 peak.