RIM loses global sales chief in latest exec departure

Even as it works toward releasing its BlackBerry 10 platform, Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) keeps losing top executives. The latest to depart is Patrick Spence, who resigned as RIM's head of global sales.

"Patrick will be taking on a leadership position in a different industry," RIM said in a statement sent to media outlets. "The sales function will report directly into Kristian Tear, our newly appointed COO when he starts this summer. In the interim, the sales function will report to [CEO] Thorsten Heins." Spence's resignation will take effect June 15.

Spence, 37, had worked at RIM for 14 years, and had taken on a much more high profile role over the past few months promoting BlackBerry around the world. Spence was promoted to the global sales role in July 2011 after serving as managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Spence's departure is the latest in a string of executive shakeups at RIM, which is treading water as it works on BlackBerry 10, the platform the company is betting its future on. Former co-CEO Jim Balsillie, former COO Jim Rowan, former CTO David Yach and former VPs Alan Brenner and Alistair Mitchell have all left the company recently.

RIM has made a few high-profile hires recently. The company named Tear, a former executive vice president at Sony Mobile Communications, as its COO earlier this month. RIM also named Frank Boulben as its CMO. Boulben was an executive vice president at LightSquared and who had a career with European carriers.

RIM's share of the U.S. smartphone market slumped to 12 percent in the first quarter, according to comScore. RIM's BlackBerry 10 platform, introduced earlier this month, was well received by analysts and the tech press, but will not make its way onto commercial devices until later this year.

For more:
- see this Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article
- see this AllThingsD article

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