One of the BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) executives who left the company earlier this year has found a new job. Former BBM chief Andrew Bocking is going to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), where he will oversee the social network’s newest app.
From BlackBerry to Facebook
Bocking had been in charge of BlackBerry’s popular messaging add BBM, and now, he will take over Internet.org, which launched last week in Zambia. Re/code reports that a spokesperson for Facebook has confirmed that Bocking has taken the position but did not offer any additional comments on his position at the social network.
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Internet.org is Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to bring free Internet services to developing countries. He intends to offer certain services like, of course, Facebook, as well as Wikipedia, Google Search, AccuWeather, Zambia uReport, Messenger and others. The social network launched the initiative first in Zambia and intends to roll it out to other parts of the globe gradually. Bocking will oversee all future versions of the Internet.org in addition to the current version that’s out in Zambia.
Bocking’s experience at BlackBerry
Bocking was with BlackBerry for over 13 years, and he knows how to gradually roll apps out internationally. While he worked on BBM, his main focus was on pushing the app out into developing markets, including Africa and southeastern Asia.
Facebook has been focusing on Internet.org for about a year ago. Last summer, Zuckerberg unveiled his initiative, which is to get everyone in the world connected to the Internet. The new app offered by Facebook is the very first one to offer not only access to Facebook itself but also to other free services. The social network has been partnering with data providers for some time to offer free temporary access to its website, but this new app goes beyond those partnerships.
The Android version of the Internet.org app offers Airtel subscribers in Zambia access to the free services through the app itself, the Internet.org website or the Facebook for Android app.