Desperate time calls for desperate measures. Blackberry makers RIM has taken one such measure and have appointed two senior executives, as the company looks to regain market share lost to Apple’s iPhone.
Frank Boulben Kristian Tear
RIM has appointed Kristian Tear as Chief Operating Officer and Frank Boulben as Chief Marketing Officer. The duo will complement its existing executive team as it continues to focus on expanding its global customer base and prepares for the launch of its new BlackBerry 10 platform later this year.
Kristian Tear, 48, was Executive Vice President of Sony Mobile Communications, a unit of another struggling technology company, Sony Corp. He will now oversee all operational functions for handheld products and services, including research and development, products, global sales, manufacturing and supply chain.
Boulben, 45, served as Executive Vice President of Strategy and Marketing at LightSquared, a wireless company that has been struggling since U.S. regulators moved to kill its proposed nationwide broadband network. Boulben also held senior positions at wireless carriers Vodafone Group and Orange.
RIM CEO James Heins said both possess a keen understanding of the rapidly changing wireless market and will help sharpen RIM’s focus.
The once iconic BlackBerry company is facing its most difficult period in its history. RIM is working on launching a new operating system just as Americans are abandoning their BlackBerry for iPhones and models that run Google’s Android software. Analysts believe RIM’s futures depends on the new BlackBerry 10 operating platform due later this year.
RIM has been without a Chief Marketing Officer since last year and Heins was promoted in January. Heins replaced Co-CEO’s Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis after the company lost tens of billions in market value.
RIM president and CEO Thorsten Heins added: “Kristian and Frank bring extensive knowledge of the rapidly changing wireless global market and will help RIM as we sharpen our focus on delivering long-term value to our stakeholders. Most importantly, both Kristian and Frank possess a keen understanding of the emerging trends in mobile communications and computing.”
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company has long dominated the corporate smartphone market. Its BlackBerry’s are known for their security and reliability. But, off late it has been struggling in the smartphone market.
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