Feature Article

January 13, 2014

BlackBerry CEO John Chen Picks New Global Sales Leader

BlackBerry might be considered by many to be close to death, but the company’s recently appointed executive chair and interim CEO, John Chen, believes such statements are merely exaggeration. And, based on the way he’s been handling the struggling Canadian smartphone manufacturer over the past couple months, it’s easy to give him the benefit of the doubt.

At any rate, operations seem to be continuing as normal at BlackBerry for the time being, and that includes new hires, the most recent of which being that of Eric Johnson who joins the company as president of Global Sales.

“I am pleased to round out BlackBerry's new executive leadership team with another outstanding addition today,” said Chen in a statement. “I have worked with Eric extensively and have tremendous respect for his sales expertise and customer centric approach to business. Our carriers, partners, distributors and enterprise customers will benefit greatly from Eric's approach. The experience that the majority of the new leadership team has in working together previously will drive change within the organization at a faster pace. I look forward to demonstrating these changes to the market.”

Johnson’s appointment to BlackBerry comes shortly after the news that singer-songwriter Alicia Keys will step down from her post as global creative director as of January 30.

In his new role, Johnson will help shoulder the responsibility of making BlackBerry profitable again while still making devices. While it’s hard to believe that any one individual could do this, it does seem possible that an experienced team could. This appears to be Chen’s train of thought as Johnson is the fourth executive Chen has brought over to BlackBerry from Sybase, which Chen led from 1998 until October 2012.

Prior to joining BlackBerry, Johnson was senior vice president and general manager for SAP’s global database unit.

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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