UPDATE 1-BlackBerry names former SAP executive to head key business segment

Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:46pm EST
 
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By Euan Rocha and Alastair Sharp

TORONTO Dec 17 (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd said on Tuesday that John Sims will join the company as head of its global enterprise services business, a key segment that is likely to be at the core of the smartphone maker's turnaround plan.

Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry said Sims will join the company in January from software giant SAP AG, where he served as president of SAP's mobile services business.

BlackBerry's Chief Executive John Chen said Sims' extensive experience in transforming businesses will be a tremendous asset to BlackBerry as the company seeks to revive its faded fortunes.

Waterloo, Ontario-based 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 it has bled market share to Apple Inc's iPhone and a slew of phones powered by Google's Android software in recent years.

The company's new line of smartphones that run on its all-new BlackBerry 10 operating system have failed to regain market share, prompting the company to consider a possible sale earlier this year. Last month, it shelved the sales process and opted to refinance by issuing $1 billion in debt to a group of long-term investors including its largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings.

At the time, the company announced that John Chen, credited with turning around Sybase in the late 1990s, was taking over as its chief executive, replacing Thorsten Heins.

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