BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is really taking its targeting of security-conscious customers seriously. The company announced today that Michael Daniels, former chairman and CEO of Mobile 365, to its board of directors.
Daniels makes seven for BlackBerry’s board
BlackBerry’s board of directors is now made up of seven people, six of whom are independent directors, according to the company’s press release. Daniels has had several senior management positions, including at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). He was chairman and CEO of Mobile 365 until the company was sold to Sybase in 2006.
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Daniels currently is on the board of Mercury Systems, a maker of secure sensor processing systems. He is also chairman of venture-backed Invincea, which provides advanced cyber-security solutions.
Current BlackBerry CEO John Chen worked with Daniels at Sybase for some time. Of course Chen is credited with turning Sybase around and returning it to profitability before he was brought onboard at BlackBerry where he faces a similar uphill battle.
BlackBerry still a long way from a turnaround
Daniels’ appointment further cements BlackBerry’s plans to position itself as the go-to provider of secure communication devices and systems. Recently the company introduced its Passport smartphone, an unusual square-shaped device that the company is marketing heavily to enterprise users because it’s designed to make viewing and reading documents much easier.
Analysts are starting to become more positive on BlackBerry, especially since the company’s strong earnings report last week. However, they remain cautious going into the Passport launch, as it will be a few quarters before there are any signs that the company will make a comeback with the device.
So far, early signs suggest at least some interest. Chen said last week that more than 200,000 Passport smartphones had been ordered in just the two days after the phone’s launch. That certainly is a drop in the bucket to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s millions of iPhones in just three days over launch weekend, but for the struggling BlackBerry, 200,000 in just a few days is a solid start.