BlackBerry names cybersecurity chief CEO, confirms plan to separate IoT and cybersecurity businesses – MarketWatch

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BlackBerry Ltd. said Monday it has named John J. Giamatteo, head of its cybersecurity business since October of 2021, as its new chief executive, effective immediately.

Giamatteo, who has previously worked at McAfee and internet and mobile-security provider AVG Technologies, will replace Richard Lynch, who was interim CEO since Nov. 4, when former Chief Executive John Chen announced plans to retire.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company also said it still plans to separate its Internet of Things and cybersecurity divisions into standalone businesses, but would no longer pursue a subsidiary initial public offering of the IoT business.

“The process will include the separation and streamlining of BlackBerry’s centralized corporate functions into business-unit specific teams, with a view to each division operating independently and on a profitable and cashflow-positive basis going forward,” it said in a statement.

The company first mooted separating its businesses in October, at which time it planned to IPO the IoT business in the first half of fiscal 2024. The division accounted for $49 million of the company’s $132 million in second-quarter revenue, with the cybersecurity business accounting for $79 million.

BlackBerry’s fiscal year runs to the end of February.

“Management is focused on moving quickly to complete this reorganization that will further enhance the focus of both businesses on their respective markets as well as their capacity for fast, flexible decision-making,” Board Chair Lynch said on Monday.

The company is expecting the separation to open up a number of strategic options and unlock shareholder value, he added.

BlackBerry’s stock
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has gained 26% in the year to date, outperforming the S&P 500
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