TORONTO Dec 18 BlackBerry Ltd said on
Wednesday it hired two more senior executives who previously
worked with its new chief executive officer, bolstering a newly
assembled team charged with putting the stumbling smartphone
maker back in stride.
The pair are part of a growing cadre of familiar talent
tapped by John Chen since he joined BlackBerry as CEO last
Chen built his reputation as a turnaround specialist at
Sybase, a database and mobile software company that was
eventually acquired by SAP AG, the German software
firm. After the deal Chen served as president of SAP's mobile
services business to help with the target company's integration.
At BlackBerry, James Mackey will take charge of acquisitions
as executive vice president for corporate development and
strategic planning, while Mark Wilson was named senior vice
president of marketing.
Mackey had previously headed corporate development at SAP,
where he led more than 40 acquisitions, before joining OpenText
Corp, a neighbor of Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry,
Wilson last year joined Avaya as chief marketing officer,
after working for many years at Sybase.
"I have worked extensively with both of them in the past,
have the utmost respect for their experience and
accomplishments," Chen said in a statement.
"We have developed close and trusted relationships with each
other that will enable us to cohesively manage the changes
required to reshape BlackBerry," said the chief executive, who
was named to replace Thorsten Heins last month.
On Tuesday, BlackBerry named another former SAP executive,
John Sims, as head of its global enterprise services business, a
segment that is likely to be at the core of the smartphone
maker's turnaround plan.
Chen is expected to provide greater detail on his turnaround
plans for BlackBerry on Friday, when the company announces its
Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry said Sims would join the
company in January.
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 its market share has dissipated in
recent years as Apple Inc's iPhone and a slew of phones
powered by Google Inc's Android software have surged in
The company had put itself up for sale earlier this year but
dropped that plan last month. Instead it will raise $1 billion
by issuing convertible notes to a group of long-term investors,
including its largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings
Ltd, and announced Chen's appointment.
At the time Chen said he had no plans to kill the company's
money-losing handset business but gave little more detail on his
strategy. He said a turnaround would take about six quarters to
In September, the company said it was retreating from the
consumer market to focus on its traditional strength serving
businesses and governments.