Beard starts immediately and will be responsible for such things as marketing, BlackBerry 10 app development and customer care and quality.
He was chairman and CEO of LiveOps, a provider of cloud applications for customer services. Before joining LiveOps, he was president of Sybase 365, a mobile messaging and mobile commerce services unit, and also worked at computer technology company Oracle.
BlackBerry executive chairman and chief executive John Chen led a turnaround at software company Sybase before he joined BlackBerry last year.
Chen's strategy has set aside the consumer market as a priority, after the BlackBerry 10 line of phones failed to become a sales hit and instead focused on building relationships with business customers.
"Marty brings extensive experience in operations, marketing and serving customers through the best technologies and processes available," Chen said in a statement.
The chief operating officer job has been vacant since November 2013 when Kristian Tear left the company in a restructuring that also saw the departure Frank Boulben, the company's chief marketing officer.
BlackBerry shares have been under pressure since Apple and IBM announced that they would form a partnership focused on business customers, a key market for Canadian company.
The teaming up of two of the world's largest technology companies positions them to better compete with BlackBerry, which is trying to reaffirm its position catering to government agencies and businesses that require secure mobile communications.