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BlackBerry installs senior SAP exec in key role

CEO Chen poaches mobile services expert to run enterprise unit

BlackBerry is repositioning itself as an enterprise player.
BlackBerry is repositioning itself as an enterprise player.

Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry yesterday announced that SAP’s president of mobile services, John Sims, will join BlackBerry in January to run its global enterprise services business.

BlackBerry's newly appointed chief executive John Chen cited Sims’ experience in business turnaround as a key factor in his appointment.

BlackBerry enjoyed a peak market cap of over $80bn in 2008, but transformation of the smartphone market into a consumer-based battleground caused that figure to drop to around $5.5bn. After an aborted attempt to sell itself, BlackBerry saw the figure fall again to under $4bn.

Sims will be central to Chen’s refreshed strategy to reposition BlackBerry as a company that targets corporate and government clients.

Chen was hired by BlackBerry mainly on the strength of his turnaround of Sybase, which was sold to SAP in 2010.