BlackBerry to Create New Business Unit

By Joel Cuttiford

BlackBerry has created a new business unit that will integrate its QNX embedded software, Certicom cryptography applications and its patent portfolio, highlighting some of its most innovative technology.

The unit will be called BlackBerry Technology Solutions and will be headed by Sandeep Chennakeshu, former president of Ericsson Mobile Platforms and chief technology officer of Sony-Ericsson.

John Chen, BlackBerry’s executive chairman and CFO, commented on the unit by saying, “Combining all these assets into a single business unit led by Sandeep will create operational synergies and new revenue streams, furthering our turnaround strategy.”

Since joining the company in 2013, Chen has made some dramatic changes.  BlackBerry has narrowed its focus, eliminating many of its consumer-oriented businesses, selling off real estate and laying off employees.  Chen told employees that the company had completed its downsizing phase and was poised to make acquisitions and do some modest hiring in certain sectors of the business including product development and sales.

Chennakeshu has 73 patents to his name and 25 years of experience in research, intellectual property licensing and product development in the electronics, wireless and semiconductor industries.  His new business unit includes former independent Ottawan business QNX, a software maker for the automotive industry; and Certicom, a formerly independent Torontonian company that creates advanced security software.

BlackBerry Technology Solutions will also include BlackBerry’s Project Ion, an application platform utilizing machine-to-machine Internet technology, Paratek antenna tuning technology and about 44,000 patents.


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