BlackBerry Appoints New COO

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has announced that former LiveOps Chairman and CEO Marty Beard is now its new chief operating officer. He begins his new position immediately. He will oversee development of apps for BlackBerry 10, marketing, quality and customer care.

BlackBerry refills management ranks

It’s been several months since the Canadian company had anyone in the COO position. When CEO John Chen took over the reins, he eliminated much of the company’s upper management, including then-COO Kristian Tear. At that time, BlackBerry said it wouldn’t immediately be naming a new COO.

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Previously, Beard was with cloud app provider LiveOps. Before that, he was president of Sybase 365, a division of Sybase that focuses on mobile messaging and commerce. Current BlackBerry CEO Chen is credited with turning around Sybase and making it profitable again, so Beard comes with previous experience working with him. He has also been with Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) in the past.

BlackBerry returns to its roots

Since Chen took over, BlackBerry has been focusing on enterprise customers in an attempt to draw them back into the fold. The company has also announced its upcoming Passport device, which is square and sports a physical keyboard. Management has said that the Passport is aimed specifically at business users because the square size of the display is able to show more letters per line, thus making it easier to read documents on it.

Shares of BlackBerry fell earlier this month when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) announced a partnership. They’re aiming to get a bigger piece of the enterprise pie, hoping to keep customers from returning to BlackBerry.

The company has also been showing off its security, reminding former users of why they chose BlackBerry previously. The Canadian smartphone maker was known for offering exceptionally secure devices. More recently, BlackBerry got into a public spat with new rival Blackphone, which currently has only one handset on the market. The two have traded barbs about the security of their smartphones, with BlackBerry saying that Blackphone is only good enough for consumers and Blackphone firing back and saying that it isn’t true.