Head of BBM Leaves BlackBerry: The End of Consumer BBM?

Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry Limited acknowledged on Monday that Andrew Bocking, the head of the company's BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) business, has left the company. BlackBerry did not go into detail as to why he's no longer working at the company, but merely stated that it was his decision.

One source told BGR that Bocking was let go and the BBM group will be rolled up into the enterprise unit. He was supposedly displeased with the company as a whole, so much that he purchased an Android phone and ditched his BlackBerry model. Another source confirmed that he wasn't fired, but resigned to work for a competing company.

Either way, John Sims, the head of the Global Enterprise Solutions team, will now oversee the BBM group. "The BBM organization remains as a group within BlackBerry and will continue to focus on BlackBerry and BBM strength in messaging and new areas of strength such as mobile marketing, community-building and enterprise messaging," BlackBerry stated.

Prior to joining BlackBerry in January, John Sims served as president of SAP's Mobile Services business, and oversaw the sending and receiving of 1.8 billion messages per day.

"John has more than 20 years of experience with companies that supply mobile telecommunications products and services to wireless operators. Before joining SAP, John held leadership positions at 724 Solutions, TANTAU Software, Intrado and Tandem Computers.  He serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of CTIA," reads a company press release.

So what does it mean for BBM users now that the service is under the "Enterprise" umbrella? There's now speculation that BlackBerry may put more of an enterprise push on BBM, and shy away from the consumer sector. We'll have to play the wait and see what happens game. Originally, the service was greeted with open arms when it launched on iOS and Android devices, serving up 10 million downloads within the first 24 hours and over 80 million downloads since launch.

We've reached out to BlackBerry to find out what will become of the service now that it's under Sims' care.

UPDATE: Here's the response we received from BlackBerry:

I can confirm that Andrew Bocking, EVP, BBM has made the decision to leave BlackBerry. We thank him for his years of leadership and contribution. The BBM organization remains as a group within BlackBerry and will continue to focus on BlackBerry's and BBM's strength in messaging and new areas of focus such as mobile marketing, community-building and enterprise messaging. John Sims, President, Global Enterprise Solutions, who has extensive experience in mobile messaging, will add the BBM team to his organization.

  • icemunk
    These articles are annoying. You don't see articles about Apple, or Samsung when one of their designers leave, then an article implying "Samsung design lead quits: End of Galaxy phones?"