BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Execs Leaving For Apple Inc. (AAPL) In India


BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s struggle is proving to be beneficial for other smartphone makers in India, primarily Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung Electronics and Micromax. In India, smartphone makers are picking up top talents leaving the struggling Canadian firm over the uncertainty of their job continuity. In the past nine months, the headcount at BlackBerry India has almost halved to 30, and vacant positions are not getting filled up.

Executives leaving BlackBerry

In the past three months, over a half a dozen senior BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) executives have left the company and joined other players, primarily Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung and Micromax, says a report from Economic Times citing two senior executives who recently quit the company. According to the report, some of the executives have joined other smartphone makers at the same package while others, who are still on the job market, are ready to settle for a lower pay.

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Apple’s India team is filled with former BlackBerry executives including Sanjay Kaul, chief of iPhone business, Manish Sharma (BlackBerry’s chief of modern trade) and Rahul Puri (heading the northern region for BlackBerry). Earlier this month, Debashis Dutta, who was heading the modern retail and online sales at BlackBerry, is also believed to have joined Apple.

Other recent exits from BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) India include names like Prosenjit Sen, the company’s director of retail channel sales (joined Micromax as vice-president of sales), Sunil Cutinha, head of service at BlackBerry (joined Samsung as director of customer satisfaction), Gary Chaudhury, handling enterprise business in India and other markets, and Sumita Tandon, the company’s human resources head.

Apart from the top-level executives, mid-level have also witnessed over 15 departures from the sales, marketing and service teams including regional heads.

BlackBerry leadership team still strong

However, BlackBerry India’s director of corporate communication, Varghese M Thomas claims that the company is attracting top talent in the industry, and the majority of its leadership team in India has been with the company for over three years now.

“We continue to hire key talent in India based on business needs and market dynamics,” Thomas told Economic Times, and added “Our focus and commitment continue to remain on growing and strengthening the business in India by aligning to our global goals to drive the company towards profitability.”

According to market tracker CMR, the share of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) in the Indian smartphone market was a mere 0.6% during July-September from 6% last year. Samsung dominates the market with 40% share followed by Micromax at 19.7%, Karbonn at 9.7%, Nokia at 5.7% and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) at 1.4%.