By Euan Rocha and Alastair Sharp
TORONTO Dec 17 BlackBerry Ltd said on
Tuesday that John Sims will join the company as head of its
global enterprise services business, a key segment that is
likely to be at the core of the smartphone maker's turnaround
Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry said Sims will join the
company in January from software giant SAP AG, where
he served as president of SAP's mobile services business.
BlackBerry's Chief Executive John Chen said Sims' extensive
experience in transforming businesses will be a tremendous asset
to BlackBerry as the company seeks to revive its faded fortunes.
Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry pioneered the concept of
on-the-go email, and for years its pagers and phones were
must-have devices for political and business leaders. But it has
bled market share to Apple Inc's iPhone and a slew of
phones powered by Google's Android software in recent
The company's new line of smartphones that run on its
all-new BlackBerry 10 operating system have failed to regain
market share, prompting the company to consider a possible sale
earlier this year. Last month, it shelved the sales process and
opted to refinance by issuing $1 billion in debt to a group of
long-term investors including its largest shareholder, Fairfax
At the time, the company announced that John Chen, credited
with turning around Sybase in the late 1990s, was taking over as
its chief executive, replacing Thorsten Heins.
Chen, who took the reins in November, is keen to rebuild the
company as a niche player focused on the so-called enterprise
market that consists of large government and corporate clients.
These security-focused customers were the ones that helped make
BlackBerry devices ubiquitous back in the day.
The company hopes that its new BlackBerry Enterprise Service
10 platform - that allows such clients to now manage BlackBerry,
Android and iOS-based devices on their internal networks - will
help make its services indispensable to clients once again.
It hopes that the offering will allow it to sell high-margin
services to its large clients even if many, or all, of their
employees are using devices made by BlackBerry's competitors.
Chen, who was instrumental in the sale of Sybase to SAP in
2010, worked together with Sims at the German software company.
Chen, who returned Sybase to profitability in the early 2000s,
had stayed on until 2012 following Sybase's acquisition by SAP.
Chen is expected to provide greater detail on his turnaround
plans for BlackBerry on Friday, when the company announces its