BlackBerry In Focus As Patent Licensing Director Exits

Shares of BlackBerry (BB)(BBRY) are in focus after a senior executive is said to have left the company, marking the second high-level departure in the last three weeks.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTURES: Victor Schubert, a key attorney executing BlackBerry's patent licensing strategy told Reuters in a LinkedIn message that he is no longer with the company. Schubert joined BlackBerry in March 2015. Schubert's exit follows the departure of Mark Kokes, the head of BlackBerry's patent monetization strategy who left earlier this month to join health technology firm NantWorks, which houses startups focused on global health information and next-generation pharmaceuticals. According to Reuters, Kokes' departure followed a May announcement that Ron Louks, a former Blackberry president for devices and emerging solutions, was moving to NantHealth (NH), a publicly-traded unit of NantWorks, to serve as COO.

WHAT'S NOTABLE: BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen views the company's patent portfolio as a key element in its turnaround strategy as it looks to focus more on its software and the enterprise business. Chen has previously said BlackBerry has "one of the youngest patent portfolios in the entire industry, so monetization of our patents is an important aspect of our turnaround."

SYMBOL CHANGE: Separately, BlackBerry's ticker symbol changed to "BB" from "BBRY" today as it moved to the New York Stock Exchange from Nasdaq. CEO Chen told CNBC this morning that the NYSE is a stronger marketing platform for the company at this time versus Nasdaq.

PRICE ACTION: BlackBerry shares are flat at $11.58.

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