It’s almost as if you would hire a Muggle to lead Hogwarts.
—Markus Giesler, a Schulich School of Business marketing professor, trying to describe why making Frank Boulben chief marketing officer of Research in Motion is as risky as replacing Albus Dumbledore with Dudley Dursley (if that last bit doesn’t mean anything to you, start with this). Although Giesler praises RIM for looking outside the company to fill the position, he argues that Boulben lacks the deep knowledge of the consumer marketplace that the company needs to charm smart phone users. Or boy wizards. [Toronto Star]
RIM finally gets a new marketing chief—which can only be a good thing, right?
Research in Motion announced this morning that it has hired Kristian Tear, formerly of Sony Mobile Communications, as its new chief operating officer and Frank Boulben, former executive vice-president for strategy, marketing and sales at the troubled U.S. wireless Internet company LightSquared, to take over the BlackBerry maker’s hopeless marketing program. Boulben assumes the role of chief marketing officer (a position that has been vacant since Keith Pardy left the company over a year ago) and will be charged with fulfilling new CEO Thorsten Heins’ mandate to drastically improve the company and its products’ image in the marketplace. Naturally, given the year RIM has been having, Boulben’s position will be nothing if not challenging. But he shouldn’t have any problems pleasing his new boss in the short term—the company’s recent marketing attempts have been, well, really bad. [Globe and Mail]
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