RIM Appoints New Operating and Marketing Leadership


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Research In Motion (RIM) announced today that it has hired a new Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Kristian Tear will take over former COO Jim Roan's position and Frank Boulben has been named the new CMO. This news comes just a month after a poor earnings report was announced and executives began fleeing the company.

“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,” said RIM President and Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins. “Most importantly, both Kristian and Frank possess a keen understanding of the emerging trends in mobile communications and computing.”

Tear, pictured above, is leaving his position as executive vice president for Sony Mobile Communications to accept the new COO role at RIM. He will oversee operational functions for RIM handhelds and services, including research and development, products, global sales, manufacturing, and supply chain.

“RIM is an important player in the mobile industry and I am excited to be a part of its future,” said Tear. “I look forward to working with the talented RIM employees and harnessing their ingenuity and creativity for the benefit of more than 77 million BlackBerry users around the world. I also look forward to helping RIM attract a brand new generation of BlackBerry users.”

Boulben is a former executive vice president of strategy, marketing and sales for LightSquared. Boulben will oversee marketing efforts worldwide. RIM's marketing efforts could certainly use a clear vision, judging from the recent "Wake Up" debacle in Australia.

“RIM is a pioneer in the mobile world and the BlackBerry brand is a global icon,” said Boulben. “We all know how fast the mobile arena evolves and with the BlackBerry 10 platform, I believe RIM will once again change the way individuals and enterprises engage with each other and the world around them. I could not resist the opportunity to be part of that transformation.”

Boulben sounds confident, but it is clear that RIM is in need of a shake-up if it hopes to stop hemorrhaging users and compete with Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market. RIM has been on a downward spiral for a while, and its upcoming Blackberry 10 smartphone, though met with positive reviews, hasn't turned around industry expectations for the company.

What do you think? Will these new appointments save RIM from performing large cutbacks and settling into a new defensive position as a software licenser and patent troll? Leave a comment below and let us know.