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BlackBerry names new chief security officer

The Blackberry sign is pictured in Waterloo June 19, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO) named David Kleidermacher as its chief security officer on Tuesday, moving to further bolster the smartphone maker's credentials with security-conscious clients, including big players in the defense, automotive and healthcare sectors.

Kleidermacher was previously chief technology officer at embedded software maker Green Hills Software, where he spent more than two decades. Green Hills' technologies power systems as diverse as medical devices and aircraft made by the likes of Boeing Co (BA.N), Airbus Group NV (AIR.PA) and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N).

At Blackberry, he replaces Scott Totzke, who left the Waterloo, Ontario-based company last summer and is now the senior vice president of device and enterprise security at Chinese telecom equipment company Huawei Technologies Co.

BlackBerry said Kleidermacher will oversee a number of key initiatives, including security-specific research and product development, and the company's product certification and approval program.

"David's knowledge of securing the Internet of Things and embedded systems will be invaluable as we execute on our strategy," BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen said in a statement.

Chen, who took the reins at BlackBerry in late 2013, when the company was in dire straits, has spent the past year stabilizing the smartphone industry pioneer. He is now attempting to reshape the company's focus and make it profitable again.

Chen, a well-regarded turnaround expert in the tech sector, wants BlackBerry to remain a competitor in the smartphone arena, but he is focused on reshaping the company to build on its core strengths in areas such as mobile data security and mobile device management.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Peter Galloway)