Change happens fast in mobile—here's a few from last week you might have missed.
Steve Ballmer stepped down as board member at Microsoft. In a letter to CEO Satya Nadella, Ballmer wrote:
"Microsoft has been my life's work and I am proud of that and excited by what I see in front of the company and this leadership team. You're off to a bold and exciting start. The company will need to be bold and make big bets to succeed in this new environment.
In the mobile-first, cloud-first world, software development is a key skill, but success requires moving to monetization through enterprise subscriptions, hardware gross margins, and advertising revenues. Making that change while also managing the existing software business well requires a boldness and fearlessness that I believe the management team has. Our board must also support and encourage that fearlessness for shareholders—you must drive that.
Given my confidence and the multitude of new commitments I am taking on now, I think it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off. The fall will be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the NBA season so my departure from the board is effective immediately.
I bleed Microsoft—have for 34 years and I always will. Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can."
Nadella responded, "Thank you for all of your support during my transition this year and for the past 34 years. It's been a great privilege to have worked with you and learned from you. Under your leadership, we created an incredible foundation that we continue to build on. While your insights and leadership will be greatly missed as part of the board, I understand and support your decision.
As you embark on your new journey, I am sure that you will bring the same boldness, passion and impact to your new endeavors that you brought to Microsoft, and we wish you incredible success. I also look forward to partnering with you as a shareholder. On behalf of all of Microsoft and the Board of Directors, thank you."
BlackBerry has named Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu to lead a new business unit to be called BlackBerry Technology Solutions (BTS). BTS comprises the company's technology assets—including QNX (embedded software), Project Ion (Internet of Things application platform), Certicom (cryptography applications), and Paratek (RF antenna tuning), as well as its extensive patent portfolio.
Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen said, "I am very pleased that Sandeep has joined BlackBerry to lead BTS. QNX, Certicom and Paratek are strategic and technically innovative assets with significant potential to address the much wider global markets for secure, reliable communications and embedded applications. Project Ion creates an application platform that enables secure and collaborative machine-to-machine (M2M) communication required by the growing number of end-to-end, Internet of Things applications. Our broad global portfolio of 44,000 patents is of value to several industry segments. Combining all these assets into a single business unit led by Sandeep will create operational synergies and new revenue streams, furthering our turnaround strategy."
Chennakeshu has been engaged in research, product development, IP creation/licensing and general management in the wireless, electronics and semiconductor industry for over 25 years—including serving as President of Ericsson Mobile Platforms and CTO of Sony-Ericsson. He is also a named inventor on 73 patents and a Fellow of the IEEE.
VMware, Inc. has acquired CloudVolumes—a provider of real-time app delivery technology that enables enterprises to easily deliver native apps to virtualized environments on-demand.
The acquisition will also allow VMware to build real-time app delivery across all three of its technology focus areas, including end-user computing, software-defined datacenter and hybrid cloud services.
"Customers are looking to modernize their existing Windows application delivery architecture to be more like mobile IT," said Sumit Dhawan, senior vice president and general manager, Desktop Products, End-User Computing, VMware. "The combination of CloudVolumes and VMware Horizon will allow customers to build a real-time application delivery system that enables all applications to be centrally managed, always available and up-to-date, and delivered to virtualized environments for desktop, server or cloud on-demand."
MicroStrategy Incorporated has appointed Raj Joshi as Senior Executive VP of Professional Services. In this role, he will oversee the customer experience and be responsible for professional services, technical support and cloud services operations.
"Raj comes to MicroStrategy with more than 25 years of leadership experience in the delivery of value-based services," said Paul Zolfaghari, President, MicroStrategy Incorporated. "He will be dedicated to the MicroStrategy customer experience, concentrating his efforts on ensuring that we deliver world-class services and solutions for our customers and partners."
Prior to joining MicroStrategy, Joshi was the Global Managing Partner of the Consulting & Systems Integration practice for Infosys, where he led the groups focused on Management Consulting, SAP, Oracle, and Advanced Technologies that generated over $2 billion in annual revenue. He initially joined Infosys in 2004, where he co-founded and served as COO of the Management Consulting practice. Prior to his tenure at Infosys, he had a 16-year career in the U.S. practice of Deloitte Consulting where he played multiple leadership roles as a partner in the firm.