BBM chief to leave BlackBerry

Yet another executive will depart the company as it struggles to find relevancy in the smartphone business.

BBM has been a rare bright spot at BlackBerry. CNET

BlackBerry said on Monday that the head of its BBM business is leaving the company.

Andrew Bocking, executive vice president of BlackBerry and head of the messenger service, marks the latest in a long line of departures by high-profile executives, including much of the C-level members. Bocking, however, was seen as an executive who could fit in with the new guard led by CEO John Chen. The news was first reported by Boy Genius Report. BlackBerry confirmed the pending departure to CNET.

BlackBerry's BBM messenger service has been a rare bright spot at a company that hasn't had much good news to cheer about. The service saw an explosion of interest when it launched on iOS and Android, when it tallied 10 million downloads within the first 24 hours. Still, the cross-platform BBM launch wasn't without its hiccups, and Bocking served as the public face with regular updates on the company blog.

BlackBerry declined to comment on the reason behind Bocking's departure, only noting that it was his decision.

John Sims, head of global enterprise solutions, will oversee the BBM group, which will remain intact as a unit, the company said.

BlackBerry is in the midst of turning itself around under Chen, who has promised to focus more on higher-end business and government customers. Chen previously said during a press roundtable that he had big plans for BBM and its role in broader mobile communication.

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.


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