Frank Boulben has a lot of experience in representing failing companies. He was in charge of marketing and sales for US telecom start-up LightSquared.
For those who came in late, LightSquared was a start-up which tried to develop a wholesale 4G LTE wireless broadband communications network integrated with satellite coverage.
Sadly the technology caused interference and the FCC moved to bar LightSquared’s planned national broadband network.
As of April, 2012, LightSquared was in negotiations with creditors to avoid bankruptcy and Boulben has shown up at RIM.
RIM’s own marketing has been the pits, and while the company might still have a few things going for it, no one can actually say what they are. Its share price has gone so far south that it is thinking of moving in with some emperor penguins near Scott Base. Over a year ago it was worth 75 percent more.
The company desperately needs the BlackBerry 10 device to be a hit and Boulben is expected to create a more cohesive identity for the line. He will probably also push BlackBerry’s existing strengths, such as air-tight security and email capabilities.
Boulben has a background in consumer companies. Before his LightSquared nightmare he worked for Orange and Vodafone.
RIM has been without a marketing chief since March of last year, when Keith Pardy left the company just before the PlayBook fiasco.
Boulben was not the only wireless industry vet who is bravely going where no career has gone before. Kristian Tear, who has previously worked at Sony and Ericsson, is going to be RIM’s new chief operating officer.
He started work with Ericsson began in 1988 as a director in sales and marketing, and went on to work in various upper management roles with the company.
Between 1999 and 2005, Tear served as President and CEO of Ericsson in South East Asia, Germany, Switzerland and Austria and Central America. He most recently served as executive vice president of sales and marketing at Sony Mobile Communications AB, a subsidiary of Sony.
His new RIM-job will mean that he oversees all operational functions for handhelds and services, including research and development, products, global sales, manufacturing and the supply chain. He said that RIM was an important player in the mobile industry and he wants to help attract a brand new generation of BlackBerry users to the company. Good luck with that.