BlackBerry fills Alicia Keys-shaped void with HTC and Sony Ericsson veteran Ron Louks
BlackBerry has appointed former HTC executive Ron Louks as its new president of devices and emerging solutions as part of the struggling Canadian manufacturer’s latest recovery plan.
Louks joins the company from open source solutions provider OpenNMS Group where he served as CEO, having previously been chief strategy officer of HTC America and chief technology officer of Sony Ericsson.
“I am pleased to add another outstanding addition to BlackBerry’s executive leadership team with the announcement of Ron today,” says CEO John Chen. “I am confident that Ron will bring the skills and expertise that will make an immediate impact to BlackBerry and to our customers around the world.”
BlackBerry recently posted a massive £2.7 billion quarterly loss, due in no small part of a write-down on the value of some of its assets and the continued failure of BlackBerry 10 to revive its fortunes.
The company has abandoned plans to sell itself to its largest shareholder Fairfax Holdings in favour of generating $1 billion in fresh investment from predominantly Canadian private firms and has signalled its intention to transform into a smaller enterprise-focused business in order to safeguard its future.
This strategy will mostly revolve around services such as BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES 10) and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), but the company has also entered into a partnership with Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to joint-develop cheaper devices for emerging markets where BlackBerry handsets are still seen as desirable.
Chen promises that BlackBerry’s latest recruit will be involved in a number of areas of the company.
“Ron will focus on BlackBerry’s long-term product roadmap, including hardware, software and design, as well as the company’s joint development efforts,” Chen says. “A good deal of Ron’s time will be spent with customers, carriers and partners. On our path to return BlackBerry to profitability, nothing is more important than remaining deeply connected to our customers, and designing and delivering secure products that exceed their expectations.”
TechWeek is unaware of any direct connection between Louk’s appointment and the departure of global creative director Alicia Keys, who left BlackBerry last week.
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