RIM Appoints New COO and Chief Marketing Officer
Research in Motion (RIM) finally released some good news today with the announcement of two new executives being hired. Hopefully this signals the start of a fresh start for the company, which has been plagued by executive shakeups, poor sales, and dwindling innovation.
Frank Boulben, who was executive vice president of strategy, marketing and sales for LightSquared, has been appointed RIM’s long awaited chief marketing officer.
The company has been operating without a chief operating office since Keith Pardy left the company in March of last year just as the PlayBook tablet was being released. The PlayBook had been RIM’s main contender against the iPad but has not sold well in the marketplace.
Kristian Tear, who previously worked as Sony Mobile Communications’ executive president, has been appointed RIM’s chief operating officer. In January, RIM’s executive leadership team of co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie stepped down causing Thorsten Heins, then chief operating officer to take over as CEO.
Both Boulben and Tear are equipped with over 20 years of wireless industry experience but the current state of RIM is going to test that industry knowledge. Over the past 13 months, RIM's stock has tumbled about 75 percent due to stiff competition by Apple Inc and Google Inc's Android. According to the research firm IDC, BlackBerry’s hold on the global smartphone market has fallen to 6.7 per cent from its 13.6 per cent showing of last year’s first quarter.
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RIM is gearing up to release its latest BlackBerry 10 smartphone later on this year and also has plans to add to its apps which are woefully lacking compared to the half million offered for the iPhone.
News of these developments caused RIM’s stock shares to rise three percent. Here’s to hoping RIM’s new executives are able to pull the company back to its leading place in the smartphone market.