Canadian Manufacturing

RIM appoints new operations and marketing executives

The critical move has been long-awaited by industry watchers.



WATERLOO, Ont.—Research In Motion has hired two veterans from the mobile computing industry for the key roles of chief operating officer and chief marketing officer.

Kristian Tear, who joins RIM from Sony Mobile Communications where he served as executive vice-president, will be the new COO.

Frank Boulben, the former executive vice-president of strategy, marketing and sales for LightSquared, will serve as CMO.

As chief operation officer, Tear will oversee “all operational functions for handhelds and services, including research and development, products, global sales, manufacturing and supply chain,” the company said in a statement.

He previously held a variety of operational leadership positions with Ericsson in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Boulben, who also held senior positions at Vodafone Group and Orange Group, will oversee global marketing efforts at RIM.

The company said the two will help RIM focus on expanding its global customer base and preparing for the launch of its new operating platform.

The BlackBerry 10 platform is seen as an important part of RIM’s attempt to compete against Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system.

Last week, shares in RIM plunged to their lowest level since 2003 after the Waterloo, Ont., tech giant gave a first glimpse of its much-anticipated new operating software at its annual developer conference in Orlando, Fla.

RIM is contending with relentless speculation about a potential takeover, partly due to its weak share price. Heins said plans are to move forward with developing its operating system and unveiling the new devices later this year.

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