Last November, during a period of rapid management changes, Blackberry COO Kristian Tear left the company and was not immediately replaced. On Monday, Blackberry named his successor, Marty Beard, who will report to CEO John Chen.
Beard comes from LiveOps, which provides cloud-based software for call centers and customer service. Last month he was giving interviews as the CEO of LiveOps, but he will start to run the operations of Waterloo-based Blackberry “immediately.” His Twitter bio already reflects his change in employment, and he has been tweeting enthusiastically about Blackberry, the mobile market and the internet of things for the past month. “Mobile has not played-out, not even close; and no one firm dominates, not even Apple,” Beard tweeted on July 13. “IoT [internet of things] will force value to dramatically migrate again.”
Chen and Beard previously worked together at Sybase, an enterprise software firm.
Although Blackberry’s market share has eroded since 2009, when it was one of the world’s largest smartphone makers, Chen appears to have made some positive changes since he took over the company in late 2013. The struggling smartphone maker eked out a profit in the first quarter of 2014 largely due to Chen’s cost-cutting measures, and has announced Project Ion, a cloud backend for the internet of things, as well as new devices sporting Blackberry’s iconic hardware keyboards.