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August 20, 2012

RIM announces new UK MD to lead BlackBerry 10 rollout

Research in Motion has announced that Rob Orr will be its new UK and Ireland Managing Director.

By Allan Swann

Research In Motion has appointed Rob Orr as the new Managing Director of its UK & Ireland business, and will take on the role as of 1st September 2012.

Rob Orr, RIM
Rob Orr, RIM’s new Managing Director for the UK and Ireland

He replaces Stephen Bates, who goes on to Regional Managing Director for Europe, who is now responsible for "market responsiveness, customer engagement and maximising employee focus across the European organisation," said a spokesperson.

Orr is currently the Vice President of Product Management for EMEA, and has been with RIM for six years. A RIM spokesperson said that Orr "has been instrumental in helping the EMEA region grow to become a major part of RIM’s global business. With this new appointment, he now takes on the fresh challenge of maintaining and building on the strong business momentum in the UK & Ireland markets."

The RIM team in Europe is focusing on selling the now-dated BlackBerry 7 smartphones and BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, while the company waits for the release of BlackBerry 10 in 2013. While BlackBerry’s smartphones still have a following in the UK amongst the youth, like most marketplaces consumerisation has seen a rapid proliferation of Android and Apple devices in enterprise. RIM has been having a rough time transitioning it’s smartphones from the BB7 platform to BB10, which is based on the QNX OS, which RIM purchased in 2010.

RIM announced last week that its BB10 hardware had gone into beta production, meaning the first test units are being prepared. It also announced a 4G Playbook 2, the successor to the failed Playbook, which failed to match Apple’s strangehold on the tablet marketplace.

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