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BlackBerry taps top Cisco exec as president and chief operating officer

Bryan Palma will oversee the BlackBerry Technology Solutions, Enterprise Software and Services and Mobility Solutions teams

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BlackBerry has brought itself back from the brink after suffering badly amid the popularity of iPhones and Android devices

BlackBerry Ltd (NYSE:BB) (TSX:BB) announced Monday that it has tapped Bryan Palma, Cisco’s general manager of customer experience for the Americas and senior vice-president, as its new president and chief operating officer.

In his new job, which takes effect immediately, Palma will oversee the BlackBerry Technology Solutions, Enterprise Software and Services and Mobility Solutions teams, according to a company statement.

READ: BlackBerry stock jumps after 2Q profit nearly doubles, beating Street estimates

He will also take responsibility for the company’s core product and services that serve as the foundation for its strategy to secure the Enterprise of Things, which includes everything from connected cars and smart speakers to documents, emails and data.

Palma will report directly to John Chen, the Waterloo, Ontario-based business software maker’s chairman and CEO.

“This key addition to the BlackBerry team will best serve the company’s focus on Enterprise of Things, integrating Cylance and expanding our licensing business,” said Chen in a statement.

READ: BlackBerry shares boosted as first-quarter profit and revenue beat estimates on software growth

Palma joins BlackBerry after working at Cisco, Boeing, Hewlett Packard, PepsiCo and the United States Secret Service. Prior to his stint at Cisco, Palma was the vice-president of Cyber and Security solutions at Boeing, where he was responsible for offensive cyber-security, critical infrastructure protection and cyber-security software.

“As the world becomes exponentially more connected, enterprises and governments around the world need a trusted provider of security and data privacy, and I am confident that provider is BlackBerry,” Palma said in a statement.

Formerly known as Research in Motion, BlackBerry has been something of a turnaround story, bringing itself back from the brink after suffering badly amid the unprecedented popularity of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) smartphones and Android devices. More recently it has been focused on selling software aimed at managing mobile devices.

BlackBerry shares nudged up 0.6% to $8.15 in pre-market trade in New York on Monday after closing up 4.25% to $8.10 on Friday.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at [email protected]

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