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RIM's Australian chief leaves BlackBerry maker

Date

Alastair Sharp

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RIM's Australian chief is leaving.

RIM's Australian chief is leaving.

The head of Research In Motion's Australian and New Zealand operations has stepped down just months after being promoted to the job, becoming the latest senior executive to depart since Thorsten Heins took over as the BlackBerry maker's CEO.

Ray Gillenwater left RIM to pursue other interests, RIM said in a statement yesterday. Matthew Ball, who joined the company a year ago to manage its Australian marketing efforts, has replaced him.

During Ball's tenure as marketing chief, RIM admitted it was behind a publicity stunt in April in which black-clad protesters chanted "wake up" outside an Apple retail store in Sydney.

RIM is quietly cleaning out layers of management under Heins, who himself replaced longtime co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie in January.

RIM's stock has fallen more than 70 per cent in the past year as customers abandon the BlackBerry in favour of Apple's iPhone and a slew of devices using Google's Android software.

Gillenwater was promoted to managing director of RIM in Australia in April after long-serving country head Adele Beachley left in February.

He had previously worked in less senior roles at RIM in the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia, according to his LinkedIn profile.

RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, is cutting 5000 jobs, or almost a third of its workforce, as it seeks to save $US1 billion this year.

A steady stream of senior staff has left RIM in recent months, including its chief legal officer, head of global sales, a chief operating officer and the head of software.

Mid-level executives responsible for the BlackBerry platform and the BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service have also left. The head of RIM's India unit left in November.

Reuters

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11 comments so far

  • Rats deserting the sinking ship….. My prediction, within 12 months RIM will be RIP.

    Commenter
    AJaxom
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    July 12, 2012, 9:55AM
    • Errr....don't think so, they still have a market!
      Do you see LG and Sony stop making mobile phone?

      Lower share prices and bankruptcy is two separate issues! If you didn't know!

      Commenter
      Gerson
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 12:03PM
    • I agree. After their 3 day outage last year, a lot of IT managers have been looking at contingency plans to move to iPhones or Android. Delays with the new OS and sacking 5000 employees does not give their existing customers much comfort. I see a rapid decline for Rim.

      Re comment about LG and Sony, phones is a small part of their product mix, for Rim it is everything.

      Commenter
      Randy
      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 2:06PM
    • Up until a week ago, I was a 6 year customer spanning 3 handsets.

      Last week I bought a Samsung S3 and my eyes have been opened to a new world of features. Cannot recommend it highly enough.

      The S3 whilst it had a few days of learning curve, I haven't looked back since.
      EVERYTHING is better and most importantly I feel I can be more productive with the S3. Browsing, apps, ease of use, even just calling contacts and messaging is quicker.

      Sorry Blackberry but you will be hard pressed to get me back next time around.

      RIM you were too slow to bring to me what many others around me had, and for sometime.

      PS I have nothing to do with Samsung, I am just being plain honest with my experience.

      Commenter
      robert stephen
      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 9:37PM
    • Eerrrr I think so Gerson. As commented here Sony and LG make other products and more importantly their platform for their phones is android whereas Blackberry's is proprietory.
      With technology in particular one needs to keep up or they will fal by the wayside.
      Nokia will be joining Blackberry in the not to distant future I suspect also.
      @Daniel - how can u say their products r better than Apple? On what basis can u say this? you're making an emotional statement here that's not true.

      Commenter
      Gregg's
      Location
      Adelaide
      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 10:04PM
  • Whats going on inside Blackberry? The product is fantastic. They need to survive. They are way better products than Apple.

    Commenter
    Daniel
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    July 12, 2012, 12:55PM
    • Better products than Apple? LOL, if you don't mind endlessly scrolling and using a fixed keyboard until your thumb drops off. This time next year they'll be gone. They've just royally screwed up far too much now to make any come back. Shame really because that new prototype OS looked cool.

      Commenter
      studio34
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 11:01PM
  • Blackberry like the rest of the phone world were caught with their pants down by iPhone and they have never been able to bounce back like many did. In this market place their products fall well short of where they need to be. Sadly it is RIP RIM.

    Commenter
    BarryW
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    July 12, 2012, 1:45PM
    • If they can make a product that operates they would be better off. At work we are updating blackberrys and a number of us have churned through 3 until finding one that works!

      Commenter
      KC1
      Date and time
      July 12, 2012, 5:25PM
      • and this is a surprise..?
        RIM's Australian market share is down to 2% (and has not been much higher in the last 12 months); that ranks them last amongst any of the recognised brands in the market. I presume Mr Gillenwater was not blind to the (lack of) future opportunities within the company, nor Thorsten Heins' incompetence. Good luck to the remianing employees. They have some good people but unfortunately their days are numbered.

        Commenter
        jibbajabber
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        July 12, 2012, 11:29PM

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