BlackBerry appoints Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu President of BlackBerry Technology Solutions Business Unit

By Bla1ze on 18 Aug 2014 11:01 am EDT
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Here's a way to kick off a Monday. BlackBerry has now announced they've opened up a new portion of business called BlackBerry Technology Solutions business unit and heading up BTS is Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu, who formerly worked as President of Ericsson Mobile Platforms and CTO at Sony-Ericsson.

Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen said, "I am very pleased that Sandeep has joined BlackBerry to lead BTS. QNX, Certicom and Paratek are strategic and technically innovative assets with significant potential to address the much wider global markets for secure, reliable communications and embedded applications. Project Ion creates an application platform that enables secure and collaborative machine-to-machine communication required by the growing number of end-to-end, Internet of Things applications. Our broad global portfolio of 44,000 patents is of value to several industry segments. Combining all these assets into a single business unit led by Sandeep will create operational synergies and new revenue streams, furthering our turnaround strategy."

The BTS business unit comprises BlackBerry's innovative technology assets, including: QNX (embedded software), Project Ion (Internet of Things application platform), Certicom (cryptography applications), and Paratek (RF antenna tuning), as well as BlackBerry's extensive patent portfolio.

Press Release

BlackBerry Appoints Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu President of BlackBerry Technology Solutions Business Unit

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 18, 2014) - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a global leader in mobile communications, announced today that it has named Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu to lead a new business unit to be called BlackBerry Technology Solutions, or BTS. The BTS business unit comprises BlackBerry's innovative technology assets, including: QNX (embedded software), Project Ion (Internet of Things application platform), Certicom (cryptography applications), and Paratek (RF antenna tuning), as well as BlackBerry's extensive patent portfolio.

Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen said, "I am very pleased that Sandeep has joined BlackBerry to lead BTS. QNX, Certicom and Paratek are strategic and technically innovative assets with significant potential to address the much wider global markets for secure, reliable communications and embedded applications. Project Ion creates an application platform that enables secure and collaborative machine-to-machine communication required by the growing number of end-to-end, Internet of Things applications. Our broad global portfolio of 44,000 patents is of value to several industry segments. Combining all these assets into a single business unit led by Sandeep will create operational synergies and new revenue streams, furthering our turnaround strategy."

Sandeep Chennakeshu has been engaged in research, product development, IP creation/licensing and general management in the wireless, electronics and semiconductor industry for over 25 years, including serving as President of Ericsson Mobile Platforms and CTO of Sony-Ericsson. He is a named inventor on 73 patents and a Fellow of the IEEE.

Dr. Chennakeshu starts immediately.

About BlackBerry

A global leader in mobile communications, BlackBerry® revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Company trades under the ticker symbols "BB" on the Toronto Stock Exchange and "BBRY" on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit www.BlackBerry.com.

Reader comments

BlackBerry appoints Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu President of BlackBerry Technology Solutions Business Unit

138 Comments

This move shows again Chen is a seasoned leader in high-tech industry. He know his stuff.

Posted via CB10 with Z30STA100-5/10.2.1.3175

"aha" I think Chen is "Hunting High and Low" don't you?

I think he's doing a good job so far, he has a "Take On Me" kind of attitude, maybe he thinks that "The Sun Always Shines on T.V." too.

Now if only he would advertise, so that we could stop "Crying In The Rain"

You take care aha...

:o)

www. carm. org

I've read and heard that BlackBerry will pull the trigger on Marketing as soon as the Passport and 10.3.1 (shortly after) hits. It doesn't make sense to do it beforehand for a ton of reasons.

"BB POWERED" C001C1D66

it shows BB is a software division ready for the selling, as is hardware. Not exactly BB as we knew it ongoing...

I really don't see BlackBerry unloading any software assets. Considering that QNX Software Systems is the foundation of just about everything BlackBerry is currently doing outside of BBM, and their future seems to lay in enterprise services and software solutions, I can't see them selling anything do do with their software business except maybe some superfluous assets like Scoreloop and Jaycut that don't fit in with the enterprise offerings.

Hardware though, that could end up on the chopping block, either sold or shuttered. BlackBerry would love to be an end to end solution, but if they can't make 10m units per year with enterprise upgrades they need to really think about sinking billions into winning back consumers, and I don't see John Chen being the guy who ushers in a new era of BlackBerry consumer hardware success.

Chen has said repeatedly that he is not giving up on or abandoning the consumer market, just allocating limited resources to the areas BlackBerry is best equipped to be successful in right now.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Good way to put it. Not sure why people keep needing to rehash the "they're abandoning consumers" même. If anything, the new deal with 7Digital for music indicates an interest in hanging on to consumers.

Posted from CB10 running on my awesome Z30 2B6927F7

Chen seems to be doing what needed to be done long ago key people in the right places more power to the brand

Posted via CB10

I have have heard his name so there is someone who has that position within the company. what that person has been doing sense being hired? I have no freaking idea!?!

Posted on my Z30

@Hijdk......I think Steve Jobs is in charge of BlackBerry marketing :D

But seriously Chen needs to hire a reputable PR firm to handle their marketing. There comes a time when a company has built up a platform & engineered the hell out of it and needs to sell it.
If not Chen is same as the previous morons........at least the last CEO did make a half asked attempt at marketing the BlackBerry 10 platform.

Posted via CB10

They are holding on marketing until 10.3 hits with Passport. Keeping the ammo dry there is no point marketing current devices where inventories are being depleted. They will likely start marketing Classic, Z3, Z20, Passport portfolio too when 10.3.1 hits.

Makes sense.

But who are they going to be marketing to? Will we ever see any consumer-facing ads?

Posted via CB10

Yes.

Just because they're focusing on Enterprise doesn't mean they're abandoning consumers entirely.

The term for the current strategy is "keeping their powder dry"; they're staying quiet until they have something significant to promote.

Posted from CB10 running on my awesome Z30 2B6927F7

Agreed 100%.
Would love to see a possible SONY/BBRY Partnership, where we see Sony devices running BB10.

Posted on my Q5

For a while now, I've thought this would be a great match up for a the consumer market. In fact, if I did not get a Z10, an Expedia would hav e been on my short list. A BlackBerry 10 Expedia would be awesome.

I am packing ZeeTen goodness...

Just thinking of it is so wrong to me. It does not sound good. A BlackBerry is a BlackBerry. Period.

Posted via CB10

This is a very positive development.
Seems like the layoffs are over and they are building slowly and steadily..

Great news

Posted via CB10

That's not what Alan is saying. He is just clarifying that the Ph.D doesn't mean that Sandeep is a medical practitioner.

PhD is a Doctorate of Philosophy... anyone earning that distinction carries the Doctor title.

Posted via CB10

You are a BD then, way above a PhD :-p

BTW: Isn't Chen hiring people that have either worked with him or that sound like him? In this case, Mr. John Chen hires Dr. Sandeep Chen :-p

The old joke about "Here's my son, the doctor, but not the kind that helps people. Now my OTHER son, He's a real doctor!"

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Just means he was a supervisor or leader of a team that came up with a bunch of incremental improvements of whatever technology they were using, he was involved in meetings and discussions, and thus is considered one of the "inventors."

A lot of Japanese and Korean origin patent applications result in "inventors" having 100s of patents to their name,.. and when you look their name up, they are directors of a group.

Posted via CB10

@AnimalPak
If you are working for a company, under a Director or independent, you simply file for a patent. The patent is owned by the company, neither you nor your director owns the patent. If you are doing your independent research, say as professor at a University, you can file for the patent on your own. Professors do have research assistants who are PhD students and might get help that way. In many cases PhD students file for their own patents and actually start their own companies. That's how Google started. But saying that someone earned the patents being a Director is not only absolute hogwash but also totally unjust.

Innovation rarely flows from the top down, usually the other way around.

Z30 on 10.2.1 in Kitchener (Canada)

He has published research paper in IEEE publications with himself as first author.
You should check before you make such sweeping statements.
He was once at the bottom...he made contributions and he rose through the ranks.

Posted via CB10

He's one person, a single data point for your conclusion, i've worked in R&D for 18 years for a few organizations, and that has been my experience.

Also, writing a White Paper and Patents are different.

Z30 on 10.2.1 in Kitchener (Canada)

I don't know him, but I checked on IEEE Xplored and found him with papers in the 1990's as first author (In IEEE Transactions on Communications) and also saw him as first author of patents. He worked in the Research Triangle Park In North Carolina for Erickson.
Maybe it's not him...
Anyway, I know many other examples of engineers with Ph.D who rose through the ranks and had solid technical contributions...

Posted via CB10

Hmm. Concentrating on security with multifunctional applications and with state of the art reception. BlackBerry doing what it does best.
Each step I have seen has been very wise.

STA-100-3 v 10.2.1.3157; Radio 3182

And the Passport, being Superior to anything out in the industry is part of that Powerhouse.
A testament of Talent and vision.

Posted on my Q5

We have yet to see a single piece of hardware for John Chen's guy yet. All hardware that we are seeing to this point, including the passport was in the pipeline before John Chen took on the job. Ron Louks, John's appointed head of devices hasn't been on the job long enough yet to have put out a phone. We will see what a John Chen guy's BlackBerry handset looks like probably around this time next year.

Sneaky littl' startup that no one watches,

because everyone looking at devices, "oh, no apps", "BB is for my grandpa", "Blackberry, aren't they dead", ...

And then suddenly...

(let's see how the story develops... )

 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

If they spin off BMM into a separate divivision... I could see a setup to sell the company in pieces.... in the long term may no be great thing.... selling profitable components ( patents and technology )... the rest could just be folded.... What many in Wall street have wanted... hmmm....

Any company would set up to build it's value that shareholders and investors are expecting. Whether it's getting ready to sell or not in the near future or down the road. This is true with companies like Apple and Samsung or any other companies on solid ground.

Posted via CB10

When I heard this news, I also thought that it seems like Blackberry is positioning itself for a possible sell, which isn't a bad move. I believe the stock is up because of this news and as you said, this is what Wall street has wanted.

I think Chen is the best CEO that Blackberry has had in a long time and I think he is wise, pragmatic and realistic. I believe he knows that outside of software, Blackberry doesn't have a realistic chance of recapturing hardware sales in the consumer nor enterprise sectors and there aren't many other revenue generating options left, thus highlighting and making Blackberry's remaining assets on book attractive and accessible for a potential sell. IMHO

If you were just packaging up assets to sell you wouldn't go out and hire someone and talk about synergies and new revenue opportunities. This is a strategic move to a) highlight the value of these components, but more importantly b) to get these people out of silos and working together to create new products processes, and revenue streams. IMO of course.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Wallstreet can dream all they want. BBRY is not for sale nor its components and divisions. They are in the process of becoming a great company once again, without all the arrogance and miss-management decisions.
Separating divisions is a smart move. Ensure each division is profitable and executes without delays and on time. Beating forecasts.

BlackBerry is setting themselves up for not only profitability, but for Acquiring other smaller companies to ensure they stay years ahead of the competition in Security.

Posted on my Q5

I agree that this move looks more like it is bringing together previously separate parts of the business that will hopefully lead to more innovation through collaboration, and a faster time to market with new products and services.

BBM certainly isn't going anywhere. The handset division's future remains very cloudy. BB10 will evolve to serve needs outside of mobile handsets and the components of it will live on without the handset division if it turns out that BlackBerry is unable to make a go of selling it's own hardware.

BlackBerry is evolving into something different then what it was. But even under Mike L. that was always going to be the case. Buying QNX, building BB 10 as a platform that could be used in multiple settings, expanding their reach in Healthcare, automotive and secure enterprise was the plan all along. The consumer market was really a distraction. One that John Chen isn't worrying about anymore.

The current BlackBerry position on consumers is, if people want to buy BlackBerry phones that's great, but BlackBerry really doesn't care if they don't.

With the caveat that that is only the attitude because they don't have the resources to fight that battle at the moment. Chen has chosen to fight in the market where BlackBerry is best equipped to win at the moment. But he can't be all things to all markets right now , so choices are made. He has said directly repeatedly, he has no intention of abandoning the consumer market. It just a question of emphasis and the deployment of limited resources to where he can be most successful most immediately.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

These that are the kind of investment BlackBerry needs for long term growth. Hardware is the least...John Chen knows its software is where the real money is. BlackBerry can get anyone to do hardware. With more and more improvements to BB10.....QNX Embedded Software...BES and BBM. BlackBerry has such potential and is seriously undervalued. Within 5 years we are going to see BlackBerry grow even bigger than it was before...Mark my words...

BlackBerry will survive there was never a doubt but I always said to myself if BlackBerry wants to make a comeback it needs to Re-invent itself to something bigger than just smartphones.....

Agreed. When BES 12 rolls out, it will enable the management of not just smartphones and tablets, but any connected device, whether it be computer, car, sales terminal, wearable, medical device big or small. The universe of potential connected managed devices explodes exponentially!

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Where did you hear that bes 12 manages? "connected device, whether it be computer, car, sales terminal, wearable, medical device big or small." This is a legit question cause if this is true that would be pretty amazing. I never knew this?

Some of the digging around stuff I've come across, that was confirmed by John Simm's (two m's??) statements re: Target's loss of credit card data being preventable if they had access to BES12 to manage their system. Why would he have brought that up since it was their POS systems and servers that served up the data breach. Also, even Heins was talking about the future of managing end points no matter what they are. That's what the Project Ion thing is about as well, managing end points that provide data into the system and controlling /interacting with those end point in real time. QNX merged into BES.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Agreed. Phones are a commodity with low profit margins. The money will be made with software, services and licensing.

Although I still want my Passport or whatever is the follow-on to my Q10. So BlackBerry stay in the hardware business.

Oh for sure no matter what I want them to stay in the hardware business. I want me White Passport with that tan flip case they showed before and a best of a Dock Station :)!!!

Maybe, but Qualcomm is laughing to the bank because Samsung, Blackberry and now apple, all use their hardware...They are almost a monopoly because nobody else can make such good radio transceivers.
And without hardware ....

Posted via CB10

And there's nothing to say that the OS might still get licensed out. Lots of good moves happening from what I can see.

Posted via CB10

I was wondering the same since Certicom and Secusmart seem to fit so nicely together. However, upon further reflection a) Secusmart is not yet part of BlackBerry (why act like it is a done deal yet?), this is likely the main reason but also b), how they do what they do is different and the strategic vision that brings these parts together may not include the hardware security model of Secusmart. That may be used as a base for a new product line independently: securing ALL voice whether mobile, or VOIP or landline based, for a fee of course!

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Create a new business unit, looks at licensing patents on a larger scale or possibly even selling unused ones, make more $$.

Two ways you can bring value to patents that aren't being used anymore: sell them, or leverage them through partnerships (find those who can benefit from them)

...what we need are fewer appointments and an upgrade path for my Z10!

Z10, *.3175, 3500 MaH Btry - Posted via CB10

It's funny but I have to agree with him a bit they need a new Z10 successor and I don't mean the Z20 AKA the Z3 LTE rebranded. They need a 4.5 inch quad core 2.5 GB ram 1080p AMOLED stereo speakers 2200mAh 16/32/64gb with FM Radio. Next year if they release a Z30..Z10 successor and a Slider they will be good to go.

This means nothing to consumers (directly), but there is value here for BlackBerry, and a healthy BlackBerry means more devices.

Z30 on 10.2.1 in Kitchener (Canada)

Does it?

A healthy BlackBerry could easily mean no devices at all. Or a phone or two a year aimed exclusively and tailored exclusively to government and enterprise customers.

Sony Ericsson was my BlackBerry before BlackBerry, so I like this

Check Out [URL="bbmc: C0008DDD1"]TechCraze[/URL]

In a few years, IF this guy is successful, he will take over from Chen as CEO of BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Where does Dodge fit in all this? He was on stage at the security summit as part of the Big Shots taking questions.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

This announcement might be a sign that devices will be designed around the software and not the other way around. A good thing I think.

Posted via CB10

Great news for the company and the business aspects of it. Now, where's my upgraded Z10 or the next version of it? They should not forget those of us who have kept the consumer/hardware side afloat (sort of) there's not that many of us anymore.

 BB 4 ever 

The question then becomes, is there enough of us left for BlackBerry to bother with the consumer hardware business at all?

We could see BlackBerry decide to make phones exclusively for enterprise and government customers that really would have no appeal to consumers at all. They would be tailored for specific tasks and would not be sold through carriers consumer sales channels.

Chen has said often enough, that he is not turning his back on the consumer market, but for now he has to pick his battles and so he's choosing the battle BlackBerry is best equipped for at this point. When stable cash flows are re-established, he will drive back into the consumer market. The Z3 was really all about the consumer market.

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Honestly, I am not sure what this really does for them.

Did they not have people looking after their patents before?

Embedded systems was already a business unit. So, they changed renamed / restructured one. They didn't "add" one. Maybe it spins better if it sounds like an expansion.

I am an ardent BlackBerry supporter. So, if this helps the company, than great. But, I don't know that the news itself is anything worth celebrating.

What I worry is that they are just modularizing the company to make it easier to sell off and/or discontinue individual components. I don't know that this is the case. I am just raising the question.

Exactly.

This is like the good bank/bad bank that were created back in the 1980s of banks that had bad loans.

This new business unit is the ‘bad bank’ – Blackberry is going to sell or spin off these parts of the company.

Cash to keep the company going and to boost the stock price for a later sale of the remainder of the company.

This reorganization seems to bring parts of the company that were previously separate closer together rather then further dividing the company up into divisions.

Do you mean that, in order for QNX to compete and standout in the "internet of things" it needs the patents which are currently held by the handheld group?

I guess that kind of makes sense. sort of

So Chen got big budget to hire million dollars people but ZERO DOLLAR For campaign? In this direction, I predict "passport " DOA. Just watch it. Chen may be good in some area but a fool in others

Posted via CB10

John Chen has said many times over in interviews that he's not a hardware guy. He also isn't a consumer market guy as his background is in enterprise focused organizations. Don't count on John Chen to rejuvenate BlackBerry as a consumer hardware brand. He probably thinks BlackBerry is better off without the consumer market.

Bla1ze, Your idiosyncratic English always amuses. "A new portion of business"? Is that like a portion of ice cream, or a piece of cake, or a segment of a worm? Perhaps you've been studying old English?

At any rate whether your a lover of BlackBerry "like myself" or a hater, I believe that this company is off of life support and is breathing on its own again.

Posted via CB10

It's always good to separate the money-making assets from the money-losing assets. That way, when you sell off the handset business there won't be any question about losing any of the other valuable technology and services that Blackberry retains.

The consolidated brains. Makes sense to me. Good job BlackBerry, looking forward to BTS in action.

Powered by BlackBerry Z30

Can anybody remember whatever happened Sony Ericsson...yep... no one does!

Cartman says: Screw you guys I'm going home!

BlackBerry needs to think competitive. Company I currently work for have BlackBerry OS7 handsets for staff. They were given. Z10 and q10 for review but blackberry quoted ridiculously high prices for volume device provision so the company has gone for.....iphones would you believe. so blackberry needs to think seriously about being competitive. They are no longer the renewal phone of choice and pricing and marketing are key issues for their future survival

Many enterprise customers allow their employees to bring their own phones or choose within models made available by the company. Until BBry decides to do some advertising in the USA the average worker will not have any idea how beneficial it will be to choose a phone such as the Passport. Even though the average consumer is not the initial target they still need to do some work "reviving" BlackBerry phones in the U.S. including direct sales and finding at least one or more carriers that do more than just give lip service that they are supportive of BlackBerry phones. Look how slow AT&T is in releasing any updates,

You know what I smell boys and girls ????

Chen's first OPEN move to make BlackBerry palitable as a SALE proposition!
Part and Parcel is ready at BlackBerry and I've been saying it ALL along ... Chen wasn't hired to bring Blackberry into success alone as the end all and be all ... record of his success is cut apart, build up, make it solid, and SELL!

More layers of management... ughhh. Hopefully they hire some people to do real work, especially in the PR and marketing departments (if those exist).

What do you cover when BlackBerry is no longer Crackberry?

BlackBerry is turning itself into a software and services company whose primary focus is business.

Chen seems to still be in a building mode with his new hires. He is pulling in people with interesting and varied backgrounds. That does not indicate a pattern for a company for sale. A year ago everyone had BlackBerry near death. While not out of the woods by a long shot, it's future looks a lot more promising. All we can do is watch and learn. Yes the company will be different, there is really no alternative either change or go under. It may not be the change we all want but it will survive.

Posted via CB10

Not sure about Sandeep because did not find he made significant contributions to his previous employer.