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BlackBerry Cyber Security Unit: McAfee Veteran John Giamatteo Named President

John Giamatteo, president, BlackBerry Cyber Security
John Giamatteo, president, BlackBerry Cyber Security

BlackBerry has hired McAfee and AVG Technologies veteran John Giamatteo as president of the company's Cyber Security business unit. Also, BlackBerry President and COO Tom Eacobacci plans to exit the business on October 29.

The executive moves come at a key time for BlackBerry and the company's MSSP partners. BlackBerry's Cyber Security revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2022 was $120 million, with gross margin of 59% and ARR (annualized recurring revenue) of $364 million, the company announced today. Much of the cyber revenue involves continued R&D plus the Cylance acquisition, which was finalized in 2019.

The cyber revenues beat BlackBerry's expectations, CEO John Chen said in a prepared statement. Still, competition remains intense -- particularly as CrowdStrike and SentinelOne gain endpoint protection traction with a growing number of MSPs and MSSPs, according to our Top 250 MSSPs research report for 2021.

BlackBerry Reorg: Where Giamatteo Fits In

To sharpen its business focus, BlackBerry reorganized around IoT and cyber security business units in June 2021. The cyber unit spans such products and technologies as:

  • Spark endpoint security and endpoint management product;
  • unified endpoint management (UEM);
  • AtHoc, which is critical event management software; and
  • Secusmart, a secure voice and text product.

Amid that backdrop, BlackBerry has tapped Giamatteo to further build the cyber business. He's set to join the company on October 4, BlackBerry said. Giamatteo previously was president of McAfee, and chief operating officer at AVG Technologies.

We'll be watching to see if Giamatteo shares any vision statements during the BlackBerry Security Summit -- a virtual event that's set for October 13.

BlackBerry Hires Giamatteo to Drive Cyber Security Business: Executive Perspectives

BlackBerry CEO John Chen

In a prepared statement about the career move, Giamatteo said:

"I'm excited to be joining BlackBerry and to be leading the Cyber Security business unit.  Never has the threat of cyberattacks been higher, nor more in the minds of management. BlackBerry's AI-driven, prevention-first technology is well placed to scale to meet the constantly evolving cybersecurity needs of companies everywhere.  I'm very positive about the opportunities that we have as a company."

In a prepared statement about the quarterly results and executive moves, Chen said:

"Revenue for all businesses beat expectations this quarter.  The Cyber Security business unit delivered robust sequential billings and revenue growth and the IoT business unit performed well in the face of global chip shortage pressures. We are already seeing benefits from establishing the two key business units and are delighted to appoint John Giamatteo as President of Cyber Security.  Giamatteo, who was previously President and Chief Revenue Officer at McAfee, adds leading industry expertise. In IoT, design activity for our QNX products remains very strong, demonstrating both our industry leadership position and secular trends, such as ECU consolidation. In Cyber Security we received strong third-party validation of the effectiveness of our AI-driven, prevention-first suite of products, illustrating progress made with recent product launches."

The quarterly results generally beat Wall Street's expectations, and BlackBerry's stock rose roughly 7 percent in after-hours trading.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.