BlackBerry hires former HTC executive to take over Devices division

BlackBerry hires former HTC executive to take over Devices division
BlackBerry has hired Ron Lokus as its new president of devices and emerging solutions. The beleaguered Canadian OEM made the announcement on Monday, where it was quickly overlooked amid a large number of releases from other companies announcing their new products at CES. But Lokus might be a good fit considering that his pedigree includes stints with two troubled handset manufacturers.

Lokus previously was head of strategy at HTC's American subsidiary, and head of technology at Sony Ericsson. The latter was a joint venture between Japan's Sony and Sweden's Ericsson which eventually ended in a divorce. Most recently, he was CEO at OpenNMS Group.

At BlackBerry, Lokus will be in charge of the extremely hard task of winning back businesses and consumers who have been less than impressed with BlackBerry's lineup. With nearly 75% of sales last quarter coming from its legacy models, Lokus will have to try to come up with a model that can compete with iOS and Android powered handsets. And when you consider that Windows Phone has been showing momentum, BlackBerry does have troubles.

The company has inked a five year deal with contract manufacturer Foxconn to design, produce, and store new low-end models for emerging markets. The first of those models, code named Jakarta, is expected to launch in Indonesia later this year, powered by BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry itself is believed to be working on two high end BlackBerry 10 phones for the U.S. market.

In its last two quarters, the company has written down nearly $3.7 billion of BlackBerry 10 handsets that were collecting dust in the warehouse, while it was selling older BlackBerry 7 OSmodels.

source: Reuters

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