BlackBerry maker parts ways with another top manager

Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:52pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Research In Motion has parted ways with a senior executive involved with the company's move into "cloud-based" services, adding to a string of high-level departures from the BlackBerry maker.

Jim Tobin, senior vice-president for software and business services reporting directly to co-CEO Jim Balsillie, left the Canadian company months ago, RIM confirmed on Thursday in an email. It has never officially announced the departure.

His exit further depletes a management team that has lost a number of top executives in developer relations, sales, and marketing in recent months.

The attrition comes as the smartphone maker struggles to regain its competitive edge against Apple Inc's iPhone and iPad and a slew of devices using Google's Android software.

RIM has repeatedly delayed its new product releases, and once launched, some of its devices have received poor reviews. Earlier this month a global outage knocked out service for tens of millions of BlackBerry users across five continents.

In July RIM said it was slashing about 11 percent of its workforce because of falling sales and profit.

Tobin was responsible for a recent move by RIM into cloud services - allowing its enterprise customers to use servers hosted by RIM instead of on-site computers to handle email and other corporate data.

He also worked on a team that developed BBM Music, a song-sharing service run on top of RIM's popular BlackBerry Messenger application as well as a wider push to incorporate Messenger into third-party developer applications.   Continued...