Revamping Plan Leads RIM’s Executives to Quit

Research In Motion “RIM” said two executives, including Senior Vice-President Alan Brenner, are departing as the maker of the BlackBerry Smartphone considers strategic options that include a sale of the company.

Brenner, senior vice-president of the BlackBerry platform, will depart after a transition period, and Alistair Mitchell, a vice-president for the BlackBerry instant-messaging service, has already left, Tenille Kennedy, a spokeswoman for RIM said.

Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins said last week that the company is weighing shifts ranging from licensing its BlackBerry software to an outright sale after recording its fifth straight quarterly sales shortfall.

RIM is refocusing on business customers and scaling back an emphasis on consumers after failing to keep legions of users from shifting to Apple iPhones and devices that sport Google’s Android.

Jim Balsillie, RIM’s former co-CEO, resigned from the board and two other executives departed as part of the overhaul. The company said also it will discontinue giving financial forecasts.

Plunging US sales have left RIM’s share of the global Smartphone market at 8.2 % in the fourth quarter, down from 14 % a year earlier, according to research firm IDC. Apple’s share in that period rose to 24 % from 16 %, as Bloomberg stated.

Heins, CEO since January, said on March 29 that a sale would be considered. Still, it’s not the “main direction” for RIM’s strategic review, he said. The company is also weighing whether to set up joint ventures.


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