BlackBerry employs Cisco veteran as global head of sales

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By Larry Banks

BlackBerry has this week named Carl Wiese as head of global sales, an appointment that comes at a critical time for the smartphone company, which needs to encourage growth for its turnaround efforts to success.

Carl Wiese joins BlackBerry

Wiese spent 12 years at Cisco, heading advanced technology sales and its collaboration-product sales. Those teams focused on security and web conferencing, two areas that BlackBerry is trying to expand in.

Wiese replaces John Sims, who had been with the company for just 18 months. BlackBerry said Wiese, ho also worked with Apple, Avaya, Lucent and Texas Instruments, will drive its go-to-market strategy and global sales.

“Carl has extensive experience in enterprise software and emerging technology solutions, which will be instrumental as BlackBerry moves toward stabilizing revenue”, BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said.

The move comes just weeks after BlackBerry posted weak sales growth figures from its software business in Q1. Chen, who set a software revenue target of $500 million for the fiscal year, plans to turnaround the company via a software growth strategy, with sales from device management software and other areas such as the Internet of Things.

Chen said last month that he’s comfortable with the $500 million target, and said that some growth will also come from acquisitions. Quarterly software revenue more than doubled year over year, but much of the growth came from two patent cross-licensing deals. Investors expressed concern and were disappointed by the weak core growth, sending shares to a 13-month low on the NASDAQ last week.

When Chen reviews the company’s sales targets at an event in San Francisco last November and received push back from some analysts, he said if targets were not met he would still be around next year but some of his team might not. BlackBerry has not commented on whether Sim’s departure was a result of weak software revenue growth.

BlackBerry is also expected to release a new Android-based phone this year in order to boost hardware sales.

SOURCE: Reuters.

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