07-21-2011, 11:32 AM
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| | RIM Loses Another Executive
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Here's an article from yesterday's WSJ. Pertinent to this subform, I think. Bit of a brain drain/reorganization going on.
TECHNOLOGYJULY 21, 2011.
RIM Loses Another Executive
By CHIP CUMMINS
Research in Motion Ltd. lost another marketing manager, the latest in a series of defections as the BlackBerry maker struggles to refresh its product line.
Ryan Bidan, formerly senior product manager for RIM's PlayBook tablet, left the company to join Samsung Telecommunications America, Samsung confirmed in an email. Mr. Bidan was particularly visible early this year as he assisted with demonstrations and briefings to the media ahead of the PlayBook's April launch. The PlayBook debuted to mixed reviews, though initial sales of the tablet ended up beating some analysts' estimates.
The move represents the second RIM executive to defect to Samsung Telecommunications, a unit of Samsung Electronics Co. Late last month, Brian Wallace, RIM's vice president of digital marketing and media, joined Samsung.
Samsung declined to comment, but said Mr. Ryan hadn't yet started at the company. He wasn't immediately reachable for comment.
A series of other, high-profile departures have coincided with one of the company's most challenging periods. It has quickly lost market share in the critical North American smartphone market to rivals Apple Inc. and devices powered by Google Inc.'s Android.
RIM shares have fallen sharply amid recent profit warnings, losing more than half their value since the start of the year. Co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have said a series of new products—including next-generation BlackBerrys and PlayBooks—will reposition the company in coming months and years.
Some analysts and investors have also recently called on the company to revisit its management and board structure. Messrs. Lazaridis and Balsillie jointly serve as both co-CEOs and co-chairmen. RIM has agreed to look at the issue and report back to investors early next year.
Executive departures have added to the pressure. Keith Pardy left the company in February after serving as chief marketing officer for two years. His departure came just weeks before RIM was to launch the PlayBook, the company's most important roll-out in years.
Last month, RIM said that one of its three chief operating officers, Don Morrison, had left temporarily on medical leave. The company said he would eventually return. Meanwhile, RIM has said Larry Conlee, a former COO who retired in 2009, has returned in an advisory role.