BlackBerry names insider as CEO, abandons IPO plans for IoT business

(Reuters) – Canada’s BlackBerry on Monday appointed the head of its cybersecurity unit, John Giamatteo, as chief executive officer and shelved a plan to spin off its Internet of Things (IoT) business.

After months of considering strategic options for its businesses, the company said in October it would separate its IoT and cybersecurity divisions and target a subsidiary initial public offering for the former next fiscal year.

However, BlackBerry said on Monday it would now only separate the two businesses following a reassessment of that decision.

The shift in plans comes against the backdrop of weak performances of newly listed companies such as Birkenstock, chip designer Arm Holdings and grocery delivery app Instacart/Maplebear.

BlackBerry will also streamline its centralized corporate functions so that each business unit may operate independently and on a profitable and cashflow-positive basis.

Giamatteo, whose appointment is effective immediately, joined BlackBerry in October 2021 as the president of its cybersecurity business.

He succeeds John Chen, who stepped down in November after a decade at the helm.

Richard Lynch, a director on BlackBerry’s board, served as interim CEO after Chen retired.

The company’s U.S.-listed and Toronto shares were flat in early trading.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shweta Agarwal and Sriraj Kalluvila)