SAP exec to head BlackBerry’s enterprise service business

BlackBerry Ltd. has named John Sims, president of SAP AG’s mobile service business, as the incoming chief of global enterprise services business for the Waterloo, Ont.-based smart phone maker.

Sims will join BlackBerry in January. The segment he will be leading will likely be the centre of the company’s turnaround strategy.

“The changes we are making demonstrate our commitment to innovating for current customers who count on BlackBerry, (TSE: BB) and the new users who are just learning how powerful and compelling the BlackBerry 10 platform can be,” John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, said in a statement yesterday. “John will be central to all of these efforts.”

Sims has more than 20 years of experience working with companies that provide telecommunications products and services to wireless operators. Before joining SAP (NYSE: SAP), he held executive positions in mobile Internet solutions provider, 724 Solutions Inc. banking software firm Tantau Software Inc., emergency communications firm Intrado Inc., and Tandem Computers Inc., a maker of fault-tolerant computer systems. He also serves on the board of directors of CTIA – The Wireless Association.

So far, Sims is the highest profile executive to be appointed by BlackBerry under Chen’s leadership.

Chen, replaced Thorsten Heins in November after when a proposed takeover of BlackBerry by Fairfax Holdings fell apart and the investment firms instead signed a deal to put $1 billion into the struggling company by selling convertible debentures.

It was during Heins’ tenure that the company rolled out the BlackBerry 10 operating and the new line of BB10-powered smart phones.

BB10, however failed to help BlackBerry regain the market share it sought.

Earlier this month, Chen said BlackBerry’s restructuring will focus on “going back to our heritage and roots.”

The company intends to zero in on the enterprise market made up of corporate and government clients. It is pinning its hopes on the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 system which allows IT administrators to manage BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices on their internal networks.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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