BlackBerry Hires Cisco Executive As Sales Head

By Jennifer BootonMarketWatch Pulse

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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