RIM's head of global sales leaving BlackBerry maker

Wed May 23, 2012 9:46pm EDT
 
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - The head of global sales at Research In Motion Ltd has resigned to take on a leadership role in another industry, the BlackBerry maker said on Wednesday, a major blow ahead of make-or-break product launches due later this year.

Patrick Spence was a 14-year RIM veteran widely considered a rising star. A spokeswoman for RIM said Spence's last day with the company will be June 15.

Spence was promoted to the global sales role in July after serving as managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

A source close to the company told the Globe and Mail newspaper that Spence likely stepped down after being passed over for the chief operating officer role recently filled by Kristian Tear, who spent most of his career at Sony Corp, Ericsson, and their Sony Ericsson mobile phone joint venture.

Tear's role covers operational functions for handhelds and services, including research and development, global sales, manufacturing and supply chain management.

RIM has seen a steady stream of departures in the past year as its once-dominant market share has slipped amid fierce competition from Apple Inc and phones running on Google Inc's Android software.

London-based Spence helped launch a range of BlackBerry 7 devices last year and had also worked to decentralize RIM's sales planning so it fit better with regional sensibilities.

Spence joined RIM soon after graduating from the University of Western Ontario, before the company had created its first BlackBerry smartphone.   Continued...

 
A logo of the Blackberry maker's Research in Motion is seen on a building at the RIM Technology Park in Waterloo April 18, 2012. Picture taken April 18, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch