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Head of BBM becomes latest BlackBerry casualty

Jennifer Scott

The executive vice-president in charge of BlackBerry Messenger has become the latest leader to leave the mobile company, it was confirmed today.

Andrew Bocking had worked for 13 years across various roles in product management before moving to his role as EVP of BBM just nine months ago.

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It was his decision to leave BlackBerry, according to a statement from the firm. However, questions have been raised around whether he felt pushed following the announcement the division is going to be amalgamated into global enterprise solutions, run by recently appointed John Sims.

“The BBM organisation remains as a group within BlackBerry and will continue to focus on BlackBerry and BBM strength in messaging and new areas of strength such as mobile marketing, community-building and enterprise messaging,” said a statement from BlackBerry.

“John Sims, president [of] global enterprise solutions, who has extensive experience in mobile messaging, will add the BBM team to his organisation.”

Bocking has not released a statement.

A number of high profile executives have left BlackBerry following its change in management late last year, with Thorsten Heins given his marching orders in November 2013 and former head of Sybase, John Chen, taking on the role of CEO.

After shocking third quarter results in December, Chen claimed the management changes were a key part of improving the company’s chances for the future.

“With the operational and organisational changes we have announced, BlackBerry has established a clear roadmap that will allow it to target a return to improved financial performance in the coming year,” he said.

Chen also claimed enterprise services and messaging were “well-positioned to compete”, but the most immediate challenge for BlackBerry was finding a way to make its devices business profitable.

“We have accomplished a lot in the past 45 days, but still have significant work ahead of us as we target improved financial performance next year,” he said. 

“However, the company is financially strong, has a broad and trusted product portfolio to work with, a talented employee base and a new leadership team dedicated to implementing our new roadmap.”


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