TORONTO Aug 18 BlackBerry Ltd said on
Monday it has created a new unit to house what many consider to
be among its most promising assets - cryptographic applications,
its QNX embedded software and Project Ion platform for
The Canadian smartphone maker, which CEO John Chen is trying
to revamp, said Sandeep Chennakeshu will start immediately as
president of the BlackBerry Technology Solutions unit. The
division will also include a portfolio of 44,000 patents and the
Paratek antenna tech company purchased by BlackBerry in 2012.
Chen took the reins last year and has worked to stabilize
the struggling handset business that made it a global brand
while earning more money from its services and software.
"These are the call options for upside value that the market
may not be factoring because it just looks too far away," said
BGC analyst Colin Gillis.
"In any good turnaround, you focus in on the immediate tasks
at hand but you also look down the road and say 'Where do we
want to be? And what assets do we have to get us there?'"
Gillis said he did not think Chen had shepherded the assets
together in one place to prepare it for a sale.
BlackBerry's QNX software powers its latest phones, but also
helps run car infotainment panels, nuclear reactors and massive
The company hopes it will play a major role in the nascent
industry forming around the so-called "Internet of things" - the
idea that all sorts of static devices could be connected to the
Internet in order to send and receive information and commands.
"Combining all these assets into a single business unit led
by Sandeep will create operational synergies and new revenue
streams, furthering our turnaround strategy," Chen said in a
Chennakeshu himself is a named inventor on 73 patents,
BlackBerry said, and was previously chief technology officer at
Sony-Ericsson and president of Ericsson Mobile Platforms.
BlackBerry shares traded up 1.8 percent at C$10.63 on the
Toronto Stock Exchange, while on Nasdaq they rose to $9.76.
(Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Gunna Dickson)