RIM appoints new COO and CMO


Industry veterans Kristian Tear and Frank Boulben join manufacturer as it prepares for the launch of its BlackBerry 10 platform towards the end of the year

Research In Motion (RIM) has appointed Kristian Tear as chief operating officer and Frank Boulben as chief marketing officer.

RIM said the duo will complement its existing executive team as it continues to focus on expanding its global customer base and prepares for the launch of its new BlackBerry 10 platform later this year.

Tear (pictured left) joins from rival handset manufacturer Sony Mobile Communications where he was executive vice president since 2005. He was previously corporate vice president of Sony Ericsson in western Europe prior to that served as corporate vice president at the manufacturer.

For six years from 1999 he served as president and CEO of Ericsson in regions including South East Asia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Central America.

He will now oversee all operational functions for handheld products and services, including research and development, products, global sales, manufacturing and supply chain.

Tear said: “RIM is an important player in the mobile industry and I am excited to be a part of its future. I look forward to working with the talented RIM employees and harnessing their ingenuity and creativity for the benefit of more than 77 million BlackBerry users around the world.  I also look forward to helping RIM attract a brand new generation of BlackBerry users.”

Boulben (pictured right) joins from wireless broadband network provider LightSquared where he was employed as executive vice president for strategy, marketing and sales for two years to create a new 4G-LTE nationwide wireless network in the US.

Prior to that he was director of commercial strategy at Vodafone Group for three years and has also worked for Orange Group for over three years as its executive vice president for brand and consumer marketing.

Boulben said: “RIM is a pioneer in the mobile world and the BlackBerry brand is a global icon. We all know how fast the mobile arena evolves and with the BlackBerry 10 platform, I believe RIM will once again change the way individuals and enterprises engage with each other and the world around them.  I could not resist the opportunity to be part of that transformation.”

RIM president and CEO Thorsten Heins added: “Kristian and Frank bring extensive knowledge of the rapidly changing wireless global market and will help RIM as we sharpen our focus on delivering long-term value to our stakeholders. Most importantly, both Kristian and Frank possess a keen understanding of the emerging trends in mobile communications and computing.”