kristian tear

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RIM’s head of global sales quits (and it could be Jim Balsillie’s fault) 

Thanks to its precipitous downward spiral and uncomfortable office politics, Research in Motion is rumoured to have some pretty sucky employee morale—and now even the executives are fleeing. Patrick Spence, RIM’s London-based head of global sales strategy and a rising star, left the company this week after 14 years, reportedly for wireless home audio company Sonos. The scuttlebutt is that Spence’s close relationship with ex-co-CEO Jim Balsillie left him without many allies at the company, and that Spence was disappointed when he didn’t get the vacant COO job this spring. Ironically, when the new COO Kristian Tear starts this summer, he’ll take over Spence’s current responsibilities. In the meantime, CEO Thorsten Heins will cover—like he doesn’t have enough to do already. [Reuters]

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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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