RIM names new CMO to 'sharpen focus'

Frank Boulben: appointed chief marketing officer at RIM
Frank Boulben: appointed chief marketing officer at RIM

Research in Motion (RIM), the flagging Canadian maker of BlackBerry, has named Frank Boulben, vice-president of strategy, marketing and sales for US wireless company Lightsquared, as its chief marketing officer.

BlackBerry has also hired Kristian Tear, executive vice-president of Sony Mobile Communications, as its new chief operating officer.

Thorsten Heins, president and chief executive officer of the ailing handset manufacturer, said the appointments would "sharpen our focus".

Boulben replaces Keith Pardy, who left the company in March last year, ahead of the launch of its PlayBook tablet, which has since recorded disappointing sales.

Prior to Lightsquared, Boulben was global director of commercial strategy for Vodafone Group and executive vice-president of brand and consumer marketing for Orange Group.

Boulben's major challenge will be to launch BlackBerry's long-awaited BlackBerry 10 operating system, which is crucial to the company's turnaround strategy.

Last week, RIM gave away 2,000 prototype devices running on the operating system to developers.

The appointments come after a tumultuous period at the company, with Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, RIM's co-CEOs, stepping down from their roles in January, to be replaced by Heins.

In its most recent financial results, RIM reported a net loss of $125m (£78m) for the fourth quarter ended 3 March 2012, compared to a profit of $934m (£574m) for the same quarter the previous year.

Follow Sarah Shearman on Twitter @Shearmans


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