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BlackBerry Will Separate Cybersecurity and IoT Units

BlackBerry building

BlackBerry has a new CEO, and has altered its plans for its Internet-of-Things (IoT) business.

The software company announced Monday (Dec. 11) it had dropped plans to “pursue a subsidiary initial public offering” of its IoT unit.

Instead, BlackBerry will work toward separating its IoT and cybersecurity units and establish them as standalone divisions.

“The Board, with input from its advisors, believes that a full separation of BlackBerry’s IoT and Cybersecurity businesses will open up a number of strategic alternatives that can unlock shareholder value,” said Dick Lynch, chair of BlackBerry’s board.

“Management is focused on moving quickly to complete this reorganization that will further enhance the focus of both businesses on their respective markets as well as their capacity for fast, flexible decision-making.”

In addition, the company named John Giamatteo, who has headed its cybersecurity business since 2021, as chief executive officer. Giamaetteo is a president and chief revenue officer of McAfee Corp., and has spent time with other technology companies.

A report Monday by Bloomberg News notes that BlackBerry has struggled to drive revenue in a post-smartphone environment. The company began outsourcing phone hardware production to China in 2016 before pivoting entirely to software in 2020. Bloomberg added that Veirtas Capital had floated a takeover offer in August.

Last year, BlackBerry’s former CEO John Chen predicted during an earnings call that the total addressable market for IoT applications would grow between 8% and 10% over the next three years, with the company’s own revenue in that sector reaching a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20%.

“This faster-than-market growth rate is primarily driven by the market share gain in our core safety-critical auto domains,” Chen said. “In addition to auto, we also expect growth from adjacent verticals, particularly medical and industrial, broadening our addressable market.”

BlackBerry unveiled its in-vehicle software platform Blackberry IVY at CES earlier this year. The technology, developed in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), gives automakers an integrated artificial intelligence solution for digital cockpits.

As PYMNTS reported, the features include an in-vehicle digital wallet developed in partnership with Car IQ, which embeds payments directly in the car, letting drivers pay for things such as fuel, electric vehicle charging, tolls and parking.