By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO Jim Mackey, the head of corporate development and strategy at BlackBerry Ltd, left the company in mid-February, he told Reuters on Thursday.

“It is true I left BlackBerry as of Feb. 13,” Mackey, who held the title of executive vice president, executive operations, said in a message.

Blackberry, which issued a press release when it hired Mackey in late 2013, did not announce his departure. The company did not have an immediate comment.

His exit leaves a leadership gap as the company works to build up its software business to replace revenue lost due to its exit from smartphone hardware.

Mackey worked directly with BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen, navigating the purchase and integration of a string of acquisitions and the signing of major partnership agreements.

In 2015 it bought data synchronization company WatchDox and emergency communications company AtHoc for undisclosed amounts and paid $425 million to acquire former rival Good Technology.

All have since been integrated into a broader security software portfolio key to BlackBerry’s future after it abdicated the top spot in handsets to Apple and Android-based devices.

BlackBerry spurned its own operating system in favor of Android in late 2015 and signed deals late last year to license its security and productivity software to three manufacturers who are now building BlackBerry-branded devices.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Cynthia Osterman)

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