TORONTO – BlackBerry (TSX:BB) says two executives who played significant roles in the new smartphone launch have left the company.
T.A. McCann was vice-president of social networks at Blackberry and oversaw operations of its BlackBerry Messenger service and other apps.
Marc Gingras handled the research and development of BlackBerry 10 email, calendar and contacts applications, and its integration into the new BlackBerry Hub.
“We wish them all the best in their future endeavours,” the company said in a short statement.
Both men, who left the company amicably over the past month, became BlackBerry employees through the Waterloo, Ont.-based company’s acquisition of startups.
McCann was the founder of social calendar company Gist, which was acquired in 2011. When he joined BlackBerry he became responsible for the integration of third-party apps like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn, as well as its messenger service.
BBM is in the midst of major changes that will make it available on devices like Apple’s iPhone and smartphones on the Android operating system.
Gingras launched social-calendar app Tungle.me, which BlackBerry bought in 2011 but shut down last December. His team at BlackBerry was also responsible for the calendar app on the PlayBook tablet, which is being phased out.
BlackBerry is in the midst of trying to recover a stronger position in the highly competitive smartphone market with its new line of phones and operating system.
Earlier this week, chief executive Thorsten Heins encouraged investors at its annual meeting to remain patient while the company navigates its plan to become profitable again.
Sales of BlackBerry’s new smartphones in the United States have been considered underwhelming by analysts, and shareholders expressed their concerns about the company’s position in the highly-competitive U.S. market.
Last month, BlackBerry parted ways with Richard Piasentin, who was responsible for the management of its sales in the United States.