BlackBerry adds Marty Beard to their management team as new COO

By James Richardson on 21 Jul 2014 07:50 am EDT
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Hot off the press this morning it looks like John Chen is on a mission to get a fine selection of management in place for BlackBerry's future. Marty Beard has been appointed as COO and starts the new role immediately.

With his previous experience, which you can see in the press release below, Marty sounds like a great new addition to the BlackBerry family. Sure, he may not yet be a BlackBerry expert, but was CEO John Chen when he started and he seems to be doing a pretty decent job or getting things back on track?

Press Release

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 21, 2014) - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a global leader in mobile communications, today announced that it has named Marty Beard as Chief Operating Officer. As the new COO, Marty is responsible for cross-functional organizations, including Marketing, BlackBerry 10 Application Development, Customer Care and Quality. Marty is also responsible for instituting best practices and processes. BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen said, "BlackBerry continues to attract top talent to the company. Marty brings extensive experience in operations, marketing and serving customers through the best technologies and processes available."

Most recently, Mr. Beard was Chairman and CEO of LiveOps, Inc., a leading provider of cloud applications for customer service. Under his leadership, LiveOps leveraged the cloud, mobile and social interactions to improve customer service interactions for its customers. Prior to joining LiveOps, Marty was President of Sybase 365 (a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc.), a mobile messaging and mobile commerce services unit, and held a series of executive positions including SVP of Marketing. Prior to Sybase, Marty worked at Oracle as Vice President of Oracle Online, its e-Commerce service unit. In his role at Oracle, he was responsible for leveraging the Web to improve customer sales and support.

Reader comments

BlackBerry adds Marty Beard to their management team as new COO

103 Comments

You know you love useless pointless behavior... if you didn't you wouldn't be posting about it. lol

Posted via CB10

You must have envied the kids who got FIRST positions in class.Very annoying of you now.....

 Incurable Q10  Syndrome.....Keep away!!!!!!

I meant worked for the company BlackBerry. If i had a friend that works for them I wouldn't say "hey do you know so and so works for John Chen?". I would say "so and so works for BlackBerry".

Posted via CB10

They have to make it profitable before they can make money on it. So you should agree that Chen is putting a good team together.

Posted via CB10

Jc is changing the whole company to better

Loving my black Q10 and white Z10 and ordered the white Z30

Depends on your perspective I guess. If you are an IT guy who wants to secure data on corporate issued devices, yeah, he's changing the company for the better.

If you are a consumer looking for a new device, he's putting BlackBerry allot lower on your shopping list then any previous CEO of the company.

From his actions, John Chen seems to see the consumer market as totally an afterthought and completely unnecessary. Will he be able to make BlackBerry into the IBM of mobile? Is there a place for Smartphones in the picture if he succeeds in his business first plan?

The "IBM of mobile" Did you mean a giant company selling phones that are too big to fit in your pocket? That couldn't write a cr*p OS better than DOS to get into the PC market? ... Let's hope not.

Maybe, but IBM got caught flat footed by the rise of the Personal Computer, they had outsourced the OS which turned out to be key to controlling the money in the business.

So I would rather BBRY became the Tesla of companies. An innovator, with great design and enginering. (with a high flying stock!)

So Chen brings in two Sybase veterans as CMO and COO. Wanna predict the future of Blackberry? Go look at the record of Sybase and start reading tea leaves...

I think he's saying that this same team (with less talent under them than at BlackBerry) turned Sybase into a massive, profitable company.

But, they didn't. John Chen took Sybase from a company that had significant problems to one that sold for about $5 billion. That's not a small going concern, but we'd have to have long memories to remember when BlackBerry was worth less than $5 billion. Chen and company were good at building a niche tech company, but they've never done anything like turnaround BlackBerry, which at one time was the largest company in Canada...

Sybase was never what BlackBerry was under Mike L. Not even close.

Posted via CB10

I agree with you Blackberryfan777.

I get the feeling from John Chen's actions that he is not looking to turn BlackBerry around in the way that BlackBerry fans hope - return it to a competitive smartphone maker.

I fully believe he will be able to make BlackBerry profitable. But I also think Thorsten could have as well.

The difference appears to be that John Chen is refocusing BlackBerry as a niche player serving only regulated and enterprise customers where as Thorsten Heins did want to turn BlackBerry into an Apple competitor in the consumer space while maintaining their enterprise strengths.

John Chen on the other hand seems to feel that if BlackBerry can be profitable just serving enterprise customers then who needs consumers? Any consumer sales to him are gravy, but not intended in his plan for the company.

I definitely see John Chen being the guy that gets credit for returning BlackBerry to profitability, but he will also be the guy that sees BlackBerry discontinue making hardware, and likely the guy who sells BlackBerry off once it is profitable

Hope he gets it profitable and then re-focuses on consumers.... before selling it to SAP :) buahahahaha

Posted via CB10

It does not look like a refocusing on consumers is likely to happen until after the company is sold. Even then, it's doubtful anyone wants the handset business anyway so don't expect BlackBerry to every be a consumer friendly brand again.

The mere fact that this caliber of people agree to come to BlackBerry is really a positive sign IMHO

Posted via CB10

Of course, it does. The guy's only qualification is that he is loyal to John Chen from his days at Sybase. Does he even have any experience in mobile hardware? I mean, he's going to be COO? Geez...

Posted via CB10

He's held multiple executive positions at multiple companies and, this role won't be new to him. The fact he has worked with Chen is a plus, not his sole qualification. Having a COO in place allows for things to happen faster while giving Chen more breathing room for other CEO specific tasks.

Posted via CB10

You don't need to be an expert to turn on the company but what you need is a purpose (person of interest ah ah). Actually BlackBerry had so many bad teams in the past. It's time for you to think differently for BlackBerry. J.C. is a team leader. That's all.

PS, I'm pretty sure he's a vampire after taking a closer look at his pic...savvy business folk since the 1400's

Posted via CB10 app & my killer BlackBerry Z30

+1 - thought the same thing when I saw it. Noticed the suit after your comment. Almost looks like a suit that Sheriff Bill Compton would were..

Love the direction JC is taking. Clearly looking towards a new frontier in mobile, and with guys who aren't caught up in the Google / Apple game.

Also impressed with all of these employees confidence in Chen, giving up good positions in companies in better shape than BlackBerry to take risky roles on a "sinking ship"

Go BlackBerry!

Rich people get richer off of in distress companies. It could very well be that John Chen is merely attracting the same people who profited when Sybase was sold to SAP.

As for the new frontier in mobile. If you're a fan of BB 10 or BlackBerry phones, the new frontier that BlackBerry is looking towards might not be anything for you to be excited about. If you're a shareholder then sure, the future is looking bright as long as no major market disruptions happen in MDM.

But BlackBerry is going enterprise only. Not focusing on enterprise. They are literally telling people that Amazon is the option for consumers and that we are all business.

Music and videos are already stripped from BlackBerry World. Games have until the end of the calendar year to pack their things and GTFO.

BlackBerry does not plan to have it's own consumer ecosystem anymore. The thing is, without an ecosystem, consumers will have no reason to buy a BlackBerry. Consumers don't care about iOS, Android, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry 10. They stay on a platform for the services. It's the ecosystem that retains customers, not the OS. Hardware might attract a few customers, but when they see that all the services are 3rd party anyway, their next phone probably won't be a BlackBerry

Another buddy of JC's. May not be a bad thing but just saying....

Using a BlackBerry Z10! The "UnDroid"!

If you're writing about it, you consider it an bad thing.

Because everything is awful, in every way, all the time, under every circumstance, no matter what where BlackBerry is concerned in your eyes.

John Chen never was a handset expert and never will be. He does not care us customers and what we want. Time to get rid of him and his damn qwerty devices.

RedBerry Z10 #00167 10.2.1.3247

Chen never said he was a handset expert (if you've been paying attention to interviews you'd know). That's why he's hiring people that have been in that position. You are way off.

Posted via CB10

We have yet to see a piece of hardware from Mr Louks and his team yet though. It will still likely be a year before we see anything developed by the new team released commercially as the typical development to release cycle for a new product in the mobile space is 18 months. Nearly everything that we are seeing released now, Mike and Jim would have seen on the drawing board before Thorsten was even appointed CEO.

So we have yet to see what Mr Louks and his team are capable of yet, but both HTC and Sony Ericsson have had some pretty cool phones so we might be in for some treats if BlackBerry is still making phones by the time products developed under the leadership of Mr Louks are ready for market.

Great hire. Bring in top executives you can trust and have experience and results in the space you are moving towards.

Sybase turned it around with the right management team and John Chen is looking at just that. Will BlackBerry come back to stand on its own? A wholly owned subsidiary? Who knows but it's looking upwards and onwards.

Posted via CB10

You don't have to be a BlackBerry expert to see from miles away what People want and where and how money is been made. Just browse the Internet and reading some BlackBerry related forums then he would have little bit more insight.

I not like him at all but seems I'm the only one.

Maybe he is just taking his old buddies with the sinking BB ship , who knows.

RedBerry Z10 #00167 10.2.1.3247

I'm not trying to be mean here, but for real, there's something about that dude's face that makes me want to punch it hard.

Thor's face didn't make me feel like that. Neither does Chen's.

Posted from my BlackBerry Q10 on AT&T

In reading the background I saw the words CLOUD and MARKETING. Sounds like a good choice to me!

PROUD to be the 1%! Z10 on T-Mobile USA - Posted via CrackBerry 10

Finally somebody seeing something. Thanks for a sensible post, not-ad hominem or ad-personam.

Cloud?
e-Commerce?
BBM Money???

What I'd like to see is a few smart payment portals, invoicing and stock-keeping apps for small business, that all link together...

Shouldn't be to hard for the SAP team... ;-)

Pasted via CB chen

BlackBerry needed an infusion of fresh blood, John Chen seems to be making steady progress on this. I hope that all of the new crew are as committed to the success of BlackBerry as John Chen is!

Posted via CB10

Only thing I see is a Thornyass repeat...bringing his fraternities to BB for what THEY can get out of it long term, as a consumer business or personal you come last on the pecking order.

Thornyass team stripped Blackberry of what its pro/consumers wanted grande mass, security, UMA, carrier cost control.

Chen didn't reverse any of BB decline, simply throwing ideas with little re$erve left unproven to work and ignoring past proven success.

BB fraternity round 2....

This company in time will still be sold to the highest software company for its security encryption.

This palava of years is getting oh so boring, but never mind fraternity 1 & 2 are lining their pockets off the re$erves.

Last paragraph should end.....

but NEITHER was CEO John Chen when he started and he seems to be doing a pretty decent job or getting things back on track. (No question mark.)

Decent Job signing his buddies, yeah. With the Passport device BlackBerry is digging it's own grave in the consumer market. BIG mistake not listening to their customers! 8 out of 10 want fulltouch flagship devices. And Enterprise market there is Google/Samsung (android L) and Apple/ lBM stepping up big time.

And Microsoft is in the mirror with it's Windows 8.1 Phones, that OS is maturing. Played around with a Lumina. So nice, camera also good. 41 Megapixel Pure View Camera.

I feel left behind with my 2011 hardware Z10 but still love my red Z10.

Maybe my last BlackBerry.

RedBerry Z10 #00167 10.2.1.3247

41 megapixels is NOTHING on a smartphone, it will be so pixeled and stretched. The OPTICS are the only factor that rules over megapixels. I tried a really good 30 megapixel camera and because the optics were total shit, you could see how grainy it really was at full size and full screen viewing!

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

Also I think you are a bit too negative. Give it time, blackberry is not digging itself a grave and they have been expanding ELSEWHERE besides smartphones. They will keep moving. Don't lose faith yet. And screw the media with a jackhammer if they're piping negative FUD.

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

I can't get over the mangled logic of some of these posts. John Chen and Marty Beard rescued Sybase then sold it - that's what they're gonna do with BlackBerry! Two points form a line!

...Nevermind these are/were two different companies, in completely different sectors, with two different boards of directors representing the shareholders, up against completely different challenges.

Put away the foil hats, people.

Chen and co are here to do what's best for the company and the shareholders. Further, the Canadian government has been very clear - they will block any sale to China, or Russia, or any country not completely aligned with Canada's interests and goals. That leaves a very small number of companies with both the means and inclination to even consider such a purchase. Add timing and market conditions to the mix. The result is simple: not bloody likely.

But hey, if you REALLY believe in the BS you're spouting, go buy a few shares in BBRY. For someone to want to purchase the company, chances are it's because they've done well, meaning the stocks are up, and a purchase would drive them up even further. Quick, easy, fun way to double your money.

Posted via CB10

See that happy face?! !!!

'Hey Marty, can how you doing'

'Hi Mr Chen been a while, I could be better but hey a bit bored.'

'hehe, well how is that home project coming along on your house?'

' well I'm obligated to fix it since my ex wife has full ownership now. It's costing me more now, almost double to fix it. I offered her a new home in the Bridal Path, but she won't let this go, says she enjoys how deep the thorn digs into my sides and wallet. What really hurts is my daughter starts prep University this year for politics major, and my son starts 2nd year in med school! I can't even finish my cottage home in time before my mail order arrives next week, and is my ex finds out before final divorce papers are signed she'll take me.to the cleaners!!!'

' well, I may have something that could interest you and solve all your problems '

'Chen man this ain't no time to play around lime the old days!'

'who said anything about playing around!?? I got a job for you here at BlackBerry and...'

'hell no man! Shouldn't that company be out of business by now?!'

'not yet, but see that's the beauty. I could get you a massive signing bonus, double your current salary in one year, and a huge cash payout worth even.more than 5yrs of bonus when we sell it after we're done with it in 1-2yrs! Remember the good old days at Sybase with SAP?! '

'oh brother I remember those days, you got me salivating like a fat kid at the candy store, don't do me like that with did to hansel & grettel man'

'I got you covered I promise, how soo. Can you get to Waterloo, Ontario Canada?'

'when's the next flight?! You got a ticket?'

'the rental Lear jet already is fuelled and waiting!'

Regardless of the joking banter I've made up above, no matter how ludicrous and different or off it may be - the song and dance may differ but the end game is the same as Sybase!

By my count that's 4 former employees of Sybase before the major fix up and huge profitable sale to SAP under Chen!

Not trying to spread doom and gloom, but it's a very possible eventuality or glorious time for a golden years for BlackBerry. Either way BlackBerry will get much better at a very alarming rate!

 BlackBerry Z30  If it Don't Make Dollars, It don't Make Sense 

JC will be the savior of BlackBerry along with the deciples that he hires to follow him lol all hail BlackBerry... apple is evil :p

Z10 the mighty... until BlackBerry comes out with a 64bit