Blackberry Ltd. announced this morning that it has hired Marty Beard as the company's new chief operating officer.

The position has been vacant since November after a management shakeup by the new chief executive officer, John Chen, at the Waterloo-based tech firm. 

Most recently, Beard was chairman and CEO of LiveOps Inc., a provider of cloud applications and mobile messaging. Beard will be responsible for marketing, app development for the BlackBerry 10 platform and customer service. Beard will be a "key member" of Chen's turnaround team, the company said in a release.

Chen said in a release that the hiring of Beard shows that BlackBerry "continues to attract top talent" and that his extensive experience in operations, marketing and serving customers will be an asset to the company. 

Prior to joining LiveOps, Beard was president of Sybase 365, a mobile messaging and mobile commerce services unit, and held a series of executive positions including vice-president of marketing.

He also worked at Oracle as vice-president of its e-commerce unit, Oracle Online.

Beard will start immediately, BlackBerry said.

BlackBerry's stock has recovered from its lows but took a hit last week after Apple Inc. announced a deal with IBM to sell mobile devices and software to business and government clients — so-called enterprise clients — an important segment that BlackBerry is targeting as part of its turnaround efforts. 

BlackBerry shares were up 0.40 per cent to $10.07 a share, shortly after the market opened.