WATERLOO, Ont. - BlackBerry Ltd. has created a new business unit that will combine some of its most innovative technology, including QNX embedded software, Certicom cryptography applications and its patent portfolio.
The unit, to be called BlackBerry Technology Solutions, will be headed by Sandeep Chennakeshu, who has previously been president of Ericsson Mobile Platforms and chief technology officer of Sony-Ericsson.
"Combining all these assets into a single business unit led by Sandeep will create operational synergies and new revenue streams, furthering our turnaround strategy,'' said John Chen, BlackBerry's executive chairman and chief executive officer.
Chen has made dramatic changes since he joined the company last year. Among other things, BlackBerry has become more focused and stripped out much of its consumer-oriented businesses, sold real estate and laid off employees.
He told employees early this month that the Waterloo, Ont.-based company - best known for its smartphones and email services - had completed its downsizing phase and was ready to make acquisitions and do some "modest'' hiring in certain areas of the business, such as product development and sales.
Chennakeshu, who has 73 patents to his name, has 25 years of experience in research, product development, and intellectual property licensing in the wireless, electronics and semiconductor industries.
The unit he'll head includes QNX, a formerly independent Ottawa-based company with software used by the automotive industry for information-entertainment systems and Certicom, a formerly independent Toronto-area company that has advanced security software.
BTS will also include BlackBerry's Project Ion, which is an application platform focused on machine-to-machine Internet technology, Paratek antenna tuning technology and about 44,000 patents.
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