BlackBerry Names Ex-Verizon, Sony Ericsson Executives to Board

BlackBerry, a week after unveiling a new smartphone lineup, bolstered its board by adding former executives from Verizon Communications Inc. and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB.

Dick Lynch, a retired executive video president of Verizon, and Bert Nordberg, the former chief executive officer at Sony Ericsson, will bring the board to 12 members, Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry said today in a statement.

BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd., is rolling out the BlackBerry 10 lineup globally over the coming weeks. Its Z10 model has already gone on sale in the U.K. and Canada, with plans to make it available in the U.S. next month. The company is counting on the phones to revive sales, restore profitability and win back market share from Apple Inc. and Google Inc.’s Android.

BlackBerry shares rose 0.2 percent to $16.05 yesterday in New York. The stock has climbed 35 percent this year on optimism that the new phone can help fuel a comeback.

Maynard Um, an analyst at Wells Fargo & Co., upgraded the stock to the equivalent of a buy today. The smartphone maker’s “gross margin will improve as the mix of BlackBerry 10 devices ramps,” he said in a note.