BrandArena: BlackBerry Appoints New CMO

Saturday 12 May 2012

BlackBerry Appoints New CMO

BlackBerry owner Research in Motion has appointed former Vodafone and Orange marketer Frank Boulben to fill the chief marketing officer role, vacant for more than a year, as it steps up preparations for the launch of the new operating system it hopes will help revive flagging sales.

Boulben will oversee global marketing strategy for RIM including activity for the launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform, which the company told Marketing Week earlier this year would be “its biggest ever”.

The company has suffered several marketing mishaps in the past year. Sales of its first tablet, the PlayBook, launched last year as a rival to Apple’s iPad, are said to have been disappointing, while a global service outage in October last year hit perception of the brand.

Earlier this year, chief executive Thorsten Heins announced BlackBerry would focus the majority of its marketing efforts on business customers in the wake of declining profit.

Boulben, who joins from broadband company LightSquared and is a former global director of commercial strategy for Vodafone and executive vice president of brand and consumer marketing for Orange, replaces Keith Pardy, who left in March 2011.

He is joined at RIM by Kristian Tear, who has been hired from Sony Mobile as chief operating officer.

Heins said of the two: “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. “Most importantly, both Kristian and Frank possess a keen understanding of the emerging trends in mobile communications and computing.”

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