BlackBerry Ltd. tapped Cisco Systems Inc. executive Carl Wiese to serve as head of sales. The move, announced Monday morning, comes as BlackBerry continues to position itself more as a software company than hardware amid weak smartphone sales and strong competition from industry leaders Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics [kr: 005930]. Wiese, who most recently served as senior vice president directing sales at Cisco, replaces John Sims, who has left the company. Shares of BlackBerry were up 0.9% to $7.76 in premarket trade, though they have fallen 20% over the last three months, compared with a 0.8% decline for the broader S&P 500. Last month, BlackBerry reported a 153% year-over-year increase in software and technology licensing revenue but a further deceleration in hardware sales.
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