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Nov 5, 2019

'Another nail in the coffin': BlackBerry president jumps ship

'Another nail in the coffin': Top BlackBerry executive quits

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WATERLOO, Ont. - BlackBerry Ltd. says its president and chief operating officer, Bryan Palma, has left the company after less than a year in the job.

The company says Palma, based out of the company's California office, has decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities after starting in the position in January.

“It’s not usually a good sign when someone’s pulling the ripcord that quick,” Jeff Hull,  senior financial advisor at Manulife Securities Inc., told BNN Bloomberg Tuesday.

Palma was responsible for the company's core product and services, including connected cars, smart speakers and data flows, that formed the foundation of its internet of things strategy.

Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry says the internet of things business will now report directly to executive chairman and CEO John Chen.

In September, BlackBerry's stock plunged almost 23 per cent after its second-quarter revenue fell short of analyst expectations.

“It’s just another nail in the coffin for them, very sad,” Hull said of Palma’s decision to leave.  

TD Securities Inc. said the departure will have a “slightly negative” impact but that it doesn’t change their long-term view of the company. 

“We continue to believe that BlackBerry has very valuable assets, including a leading automotive operating system (QNX), a next generation AI-based antivirus solution (Cylance), and a very strong patent portfolio,” Daniel Chan wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. “With the stock trading at ~1.2 times book value, we continue to believe the risk/reward looks favourable.”

The company has announced several new senior appointments in recent months, including a chief information security officer, chief information officer, and chief revenue officer.

With files from BNN Bloomberg

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