Mobile hardware and services vendor Research in Motion (RIM) has announced the appointments of Kristian Tear as chief operating officer and Frank Boulben as chief marketing officer.
The hirings indicate a change of direction for RIM, whose primary point of use was in the businesses sector. RIM's new executives could give them the experience they need to compete with the likes of the iPhone and Android.
Tear comes on board from Sony where he was the executive vice president of Sony's Mobile Communications division. Boulben arrives from LightSquared where he was the executive vice president of strategy, marketing, and sales.
"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 RIM president and chief executive officer Thorsten Heins.
"Most importantly, both Kristian and Frank possess a keen understanding of the emerging trends in mobile communications and computing."
Both men arrive at the BlackBerry manufacture as it attempts to recover a share of the mobile phone landscape that is quickly leaving it behind.
Recent reports from ComScore show RIM still remains a distant third to Android and iPhone.
Some analysts see the new appointments as RIM's attempt to learn more about the consumer mobile market.
Pund-IT principal analyst Charles King told V3 that the two new hires backgrounds could signal a strong push into the consumer sector.
"The most interesting thing about these appointments is the executives' detailed experience in the consumer wireless field instead of the business wireless sector," said King.
"Bringing two new executives who understand the consumer side of the business is a step in right direction."
The move also puts a decidedly consumer-oriented spin on the company as RIM sets to release new BlackBerry 10 devices this year,
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