Blackberry scraps plans to sell off IoT division

  • December 13, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Blackberry has scrapped plans to sell off its IoT business as a separate company and instead plans to operate its IoT and cyber-security units as separate divisions.

In an announcement this week, the company said it would no longer pursue a subsidiary initial public offering (IPO) of its IoT business unit.

The process will include the separation and streamlining of Blackberry’s centralised corporate functions into business-unit specific teams, with a view to each division operating independently and on a profitable and cashflow-positive basis going forward.

“The board, with input from its advisors, believes that a full separation of Blackberry’s IoT and cyber-security businesses will open up a number of strategic alternatives that can unlock shareholder value,” said Dick Lynch, board chair of Blackberry. “Management is focused on moving quickly to complete this reorganisation that will further enhance the focus of both businesses on their respective markets as well as their capacity for fast, flexible decision-making.”

To assist in the separation and right-sizing process, Blackberry is in the final stages of selecting a consulting firm to bring expertise and additional resources for an independent, ground-up assessment.

The announcement follows the appointment of John Giamatteo as its new CEO and as a member of its board of directors, effective immediately. Lynch, who has been interim CEO for just over a month, will continue as board chair.

Giamatteo has over 30 years of experience with global technology companies. As president of Blackberry’s cyber-security business unit, he has driven enhancements to the product portfolio, go-to-market strategy and organisational efficiency.

“I am honoured and excited to lead the next phase of Blackberry’s evolution as its CEO,” said Giamatteo. “Blackberry’s IoT and cyber-security businesses have market-leading technology, exceptional teams and large market opportunities. The board and I are fully aligned on the next steps needed to unlock the value within Blackberry, and work on this effort will proceed at full speed. I look forward to working with the entire team to uphold our legacy of innovation and continue providing exceptional service to our customers as we deliver on our goals.”

Prior to Blackberry he was president and chief revenue officer at McAfee. Before that, he served as chief operating officer at AVG Technologies, a provider of internet and mobile security. He also held leadership positions with Solera, RealNetworks and Nortel Networks.

“We are delighted to appoint John to the role of CEO for what will be a transformative period in Blackberry’s history, as we work to fully separate our two core business units to drive enhanced shareholder value,” said Mike Daniels, chair of the compensation, nomination and governance committee of the Blackberry ( board. “His deep industry experience and outstanding track record of inspiring teams and delivering operational excellence means he is strongly positioned to drive this critical transformation of Blackberry.”