Beleaguered RIM exec shakeup continues with naming of new COO, marketing chief

Beleaguered Research In Motion today announced additions to its executive ranks with the hiring of Kristian Tear as Chief Operating Officer and Frank Boulben as Chief Marketing Officer.

With deep experience in the mobile computing industry, Mr. Tear and Mr. Boulben will complement Beleaguered RIM’s existing executive team as the company continues to focus on expanding its global customer base and prepares for the launch of its new BlackBerry 10 platform.

“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,” said Thorsten Heins, RIM’s President and Chief Executive Officer, in the press release. “Most importantly, both Kristian and Frank possess a keen understanding of the emerging trends in mobile communications and computing.”

Mr. Tear joins Beleaguered RIM from Sony Mobile Communications, where he served as Executive Vice President. He previously held a variety of operational leadership positions with Ericsson in Europe, Asia and Latin America. At Beleaguered RIM, Mr. Tear will serve as Chief Operating Officer overseeing all operational functions for handhelds and services, including research and development, products, global sales, manufacturing and supply chain.

“RIM is an important player in the mobile industry and I am excited to be a part of its future,” said Mr. Tear in the press release. “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.”

Mr. Boulben is the former Executive Vice President of Strategy, Marketing and Sales for LightSquared. He joined LightSquared after serving as Global Director of Commercial Strategy for Vodafone Group and Executive Vice President of Brand and Consumer Marketing for Orange Group. Mr. Boulben will oversee global marketing efforts at Beleaguered RIM.

“RIM is a pioneer in the mobile world and the BlackBerry brand is a global icon,” said Mr. Boulben in the press release. “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.”

About Kristian Tear

Kristian Tear brings almost 25 years of wireless experience in general management, sales and marketing, services and operations within the telecommunications, infrastructure and consumer industries. Most recently, Kristian served as Executive Vice President at Sony Mobile Communications AB, a subsidiary of Sony Corp. Kristian served as a member of the Executive Management Team, as Chairman of the Board of Sony Mobile Inc Americas and Sony Mobile International AB. He was also Chairman of the Product Business Council, Chairman of the Accessories Business Unit, Board member of Sony Mobile Japan and China.

Previously, Mr. Tear also served as the Corporate Vice President of Sony Ericsson Western Europe based in Munich, with responsibility for the region Western Europe and Global Customer Accounts. Prior to that, he served as Corporate Vice President at Sony Ericsson Headquarters in London. From 1999-2005, he served as President and CEO of Ericsson in various regions and markets, including in South East Asia, Germany, Switzerland and Austria and Central America.

Mr. Tear holds a Masters Degree in Science from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and completed the Ericsson Executive MBA program at Columbia University in New York.

About Frank Boulben

Frank Boulben brings to Beleaguered RIM more than 20 years of international experience in the wireless industry with senior marketing and sales roles at global wireless carriers such as Vodafone and Orange. Most recently, he was the Executive Vice President for Strategy, Marketing and Sales for LightSquared. He was recruited as employee number two to create a new 4G-LTE nationwide wireless network in the United States.

Previously, Frank was the Director of Commercial Strategy for Vodafone Group, responsible for strategic marketing, customer insights and segmentation, pricing, customer investment optimization and roaming. Prior to Vodafone, Frank was the Executive Vice President for Brand and Consumer Marketing for Orange Group, responsible for brand and communications, consumer propositions, value-based marketing, which included pricing and customer investment optimization, customer insights and segmentation, CRM, product marketing and devices portfolio management.

Before joining Orange, Frank spent eight years working for Vivendi Universal, occupying several strategy and marketing roles for SFR and then as CEO of Vivendi Universal Internet division with a focus on mobile services. During 2005-2006, Frank served on the Board of the GSM Association (the world’s largest trade association representing more than 800 wireless carriers in 219 countries) and was the Chairman of the Strategy Committee.

He holds diplomas from the École Polytechnique and from the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, where he studied mathematics, physics and economics.

Source: Beleaguered Research In Motion

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Don’t get too comfortable, guys (and cash those paychecks the minute you you get them!)

Related articles:
Research shows U.S. feds making tectonic shift from antiquated BlackBerry to Apple iPhone, iPad – May 3, 2012
Beleaguered RIM guarantees BlackBerry 10 developers $10K per app; Jefferies says sell – May 2, 2012
Beleaguered RIM shares tank further as CEO hit with tepid response to Blackberry 10 – May 1, 2012
Beleaguered RIM said to discuss hiring bank to weigh strategy options – April 16, 2012


  1. Emerging trends!?! You mean the trend that enterprises are moving to the iPhone? Or the one of extended Blackberry service outages? No! Ah, must be the one about less and less people see RIM as relevant in the modern world.

    R.I.P. RIM. One trick Pony’s never last long.

  2. So Tear previously worked for Sony and Ericsson in their mobile divisions: bringing a track record of successful business developments with him then.
    I’m sure that RIM will more than equal Sony Ericsson’s global fight against the upstart iPhone…

  3. I know what’ll really help the company. They should hire “co-CEOs” – you know, two guys sharing the same job but doing twice the work and being twice as creative. That way two heads are better than one! Isn’t that a great idea?! Apple would take a pounding in no time!

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