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Blackberry taps LiveOps chief Marty Beard for COO

Prior to LiveOps, Beard was an executive at Sybase during John Chen's tenure as the company's CEO.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor on

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has chosen a familiar face to become the beleaguered phone maker's new chief operating officer.

The company announced that former Sybase 365 president Marty Beard takes the COO reigns immediately. Blackberry's Chen was the CEO of Sybase until 2012, following the completion of its acquisition by SAP.

Prior to Sybase, Beard worked at Oracle as the VP of its e-commerce service unit. Beard most recently held the position of CEO and chairman of LiveOps, a provider of cloud-based customer service applications. 

As for his role with Blackberry, Beard will lead the company's cross-functional organizations, including marketing, application development and customer care.

Chen commented on Beard’s hiring in prepared remarks:

"BlackBerry continues to attract top talent to the company. Marty brings extensive experience in operations, marketing and serving customers through the best technologies and processes available."

Perhaps Chen is hoping Beard's addition will help in his effort to lead a company turnaround similar to the one that took place at Sybase during his tenure. Chen is credited with returning Sybase to profitability for 55 consecutive quarters before it was acquired in 2010.

Turnaround efforts for Blackberry became far more difficult last week, following the announcement from Apple and IBM that the companies would jointly build business applications for the iPhone and iPad that target enterprise and governement clients – Blackberry's key customers.

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