BlackBerry names new CEO, will split cybersecurity and IoT businesses – IT World Canada

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BlackBerry’s new leader is the former head of its cybersecurity business unit.

The Waterloo, Ont., company said this morning that John Giamatteo is its new chief executive officer and a member of its board of directors, effective immediately.

John Giamatteo

Richard Lynch, who has served as interim chief executive officer since Nov. 4, after the departure of John Chen, will continue as board chair.

The company also announced that it will separate the IoT division (which offers its QNX operating system for industrial and automotive manufacturers) and its cybersecurity division (which offers Cylance endpoint and Mobile Threat Defence solutions) and that they will operate as fully standalone divisions. However, BlackBerry will no longer try to make the IoT business a publicly traded company.

Giamatteo has served as the president of BlackBerry’s Cybersecurity business unit since October 2021.

Giamatteo has over 30 years of experience with global technology companies, the BlackBerry announcement said.  As president of the cybersecurity business unit, he oversaw enhancements to the product portfolio, go-to-market strategy, and organizational efficiency, the statement said.

Before joining BlackBerry he was president and chief revenue officer at McAfee.  Before that, Giamatteo was chief operating officer at AVG Technologies, a provider of internet and mobile security.

“We are delighted to appoint John to the role of CEO for what will be a transformative period in BlackBerry’s history, as we work to fully separate our two core business units to drive enhanced shareholder value,”  Mike Daniels, chair of BlackBerry’s compensation, nomination and governance committee, said in a statement. “His deep industry experience and outstanding track record of inspiring teams and delivering operational excellence means he is strongly positioned to drive this critical transformation of BlackBerry.”

In a statement, Giamatteo said he is “honored and excited to lead the next phase of BlackBerry’s evolution as its CEO. BlackBerry’s IoT and cybersecurity businesses have market-leading technology, exceptional teams and large market opportunities.

“The Board and I are fully aligned on the next steps needed to unlock the value within BlackBerry, and work on this effort will proceed at full speed. I look forward to working with the entire team to uphold our legacy of innovation and continue providing exceptional service to our customers as we deliver on our goals.”

The announcement also made it clear that the company has given up plans to monetize the IoT division by making an initial public offering of stock. Instead, the board has decided that it will become a standalone division.

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.

“The board, with input from its advisors, believes that a full separation of BlackBerry’s IoT and Cybersecurity businesses will open up a number of strategic alternatives that can unlock shareholder value,” said board chair Lynch said in a statement. “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.”

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