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BlackBerry Taps Ex-McAfee President To Lead Security Practice

BlackBerry has tasked former McAfee President John Giamatteo with spearheading strategy, engineering, and go-to-market for the company’s $500 million cybersecurity business unit when he starts Oct. 4.

BlackBerry has brought on former McAfee President and Chief Revenue Officer John Giamatteo to lead the company’s $500 million cybersecurity business unit.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based software and services vendor will task Giamatteo with spearheading strategy, engineering, and go-to-market for BlackBerry’s cybersecurity business unit when he starts with the company Oct. 4. Giamatteo will replace President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Eacobacci, a longtime Citrix executive who will leave BlackBerry after just 17 months to pursue other opportunities.

“BlackBerry’s AI-driven, prevention-first technology is well placed to scale to meet the constantly evolving cybersecurity needs of companies everywhere,” Giamatteo said in a statement. “I’m very positive about the opportunities we have as a company.”

[Related: McAfee Nabs Ex-Cisco Exec To Run Enterprise Sales, Marketing]

Giamatteo will report directly into Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen, who in a statement praised the new executive for his “leading industry expertise.” BlackBerry’s cybersecurity sales in the quarter ended Aug. 31 came in at $120 million, flat from the year prior, and accounting for nearly 70 percent of the company’s quarterly revenue.

BlackBerry expects cybersecurity revenue between $495 million and $515 million in its current fiscal year thanks to increased customer demand for the company’s endpoint security and productivity technology that support business continuity and remote working environments. The company’s stock is up $0.68 (7.11 percent) to $10.24 per share in after-hours trading Wednesday.

Giamatteo most recently spent six years at McAfee, which culminated in an 18-month stint from July 2018 to January 2020 overseeing the platform security giant’s sales, marketing and customer success organizations as president and chief revenue officer. Prior to the promotion, Giamatteo led McAfee’s $1.5 billion global consumer business for four-and-a-year years.

He left McAfee on Jan. 10, 2020, just weeks before longtime McAfee CEO Chris Young was replaced by former Polycom and BMC Software CEO Peter Leav. Giamatteo received $4 million of compensation from McAfee in fiscal 2020, $2.1 million of compensation in fiscal 2019, and $6.8 million in fiscal 2018, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Following Giamatteo’s departure from McAfee, some of his responsibilities were assumed by Lynne Doherty, the ex-head of Cisco’s U.S. commercial sales team hired in May 2020 to oversee McAfee’s enterprise sales, pre-sales, channel, and marketing. Doherty received $12.1 million of compensation from McAfee in fiscal 2020, according to regulatory filings.

Prior to joining McAfee, Giamatteo spent two-and-a-half years as chief operating officer at Czech anti-virus software maker AVG Technology and more than 17 percent at Nortel Networks, where he worked his way up to president and CEO of the company’s Asia Pacific region.

Eacobacci, meanwhile, joined BlackBerry in June 2020 after two decades at Citrix, where we worked his way up to president of the Americas for two-and-a-half years. In BlackBerry’s 2021 fiscal year, which ended Feb. 28, Eacobacci received $8.6 million of compensation, according to regulatory filings.

BlackBerry’s cybersecurity practice is focused around its February 2019 acquisition of next-generation endpoint security vendor Cylance for $1.4 billion. The company’s cybersecurity offerings include BlackBerry Spark unified endpoint security, BlackBerry AtHoc crisis communications, BlackBerry Alert critical event management, and SecuSUITE secure messaging and phone calls.

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