Research In Motion on Tuesday named two new executives as the shake-up atop its organization continues. Recently-appointed chief executive officer Thorsten Heins said during his first day on the job that finding a new marketing boss and making drastic changes to the company’s marketing strategy were top priorities for the struggling smartphone maker. While the company’s marketing efforts have yet to pay off — though it does seem to be trying new things, at least — a new chief marketing officer has now been named. Frank Boulben, former executive vice president of strategy, marketing and sales for LightSquared, has been appointed CMO effective immediately, and joining him is new chief operating officer, Kristian Tear, who comes from Sony Mobile where he was the company’s executive vice president. “Kristian and Frank bring extensive knowledge of the rapidly changing wireless global market and will help RIM as we sharpen our focus on delivering long-term value to our stakeholders,” RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said in a statement. “Most importantly, both Kristian and Frank possess a keen understanding of the emerging trends in mobile communications and computing.”
Steve Jobs has officially resigned from his job as CEO of Apple, though he has been elected Chairman. Tim Cook, Apple’s long-time COO, who acted as CEO during Steve Jobs’ medical leaves will replace Jobs as CEO. Full press release from Apple after the break.
Developing… More →
Speaking during a recent Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, Verizon’s Chief Operating Officer Lowell McAdam said he expects AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA to be approved by government regulators. “I’d say the merger will probably go through,” McAdam said. “It’s a merger AT&T probably had to do.” While other carriers such as Sprint have been vocal in their opposition of the deal, Verizon has remained relatively quiet. According to Reuters, McAdam said he was surprised AT&T hadn’t purchased T-Mobile sooner and that the deal “makes sense.” On Wednesday, Senate Antitrust Subcommitee chairman Herb Kohl called on the FCC and the Justice Department to block the merger and said the deal would be “contrary to antitrust law and not in the public interest.” AT&T quickly shot down Kohl’s statement and said Kohl ignored “the many positive benefits and numerous supporters of the transaction.” Among those supporters is Senator Mike Lee, who argued that the “mobile phone market is a critical component of our nation’s economy and the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile deserves careful review.” More →
A China Mobile employee allegedly revealed that the popular Chinese carrier will launch Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone this coming September, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White wrote in a note to investors on Thursday. The news jibes with multiple earlier reports that Apple’s iPhone 5 is set to launch this September, though it may launch even sooner in the U.S. and other key markets. The news was first relayed by Chinese language website Bianews.com, which reported on Thursday that a China Mobile employee wrote that the carrier would launch the iPhone 5 in September in a post on Weibo.com, a micro-blogging service similar to Twitter. The post was subsequently deleted. Apple COO Tim Cook was recently seen attending meetings with China Mobile executives, and the tech giant’s next-generation iPhone could very well have been the topic of their conversations.
In a note to investors on Monday, Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi said that Apple is looking to expand its smartphone market share by addressing the cost of its handsets. Apple doesn’t want its products to be “just for the rich,” Apple COO Tim Cook reportedly told Sacconaghi in a meeting, a possible indication that the company is looking to offer a less expensive iPhone option or even work with carriers to offer better rates. Cook is also said to have told the analyst that Apple will be doing “clever things” in the prepaid market. Cook noted that Apple will continue to focus on the tablet market as well, where it has seen huge success. Sacconaghi believes tablets could soon end up being a $60 billion to $100 billion business for Apple, whose iPad currently owns the majority of the tablet market. More →
Today, Verizon announced a top-level, executive-role shuffle to the general public. Beginning on October 1, Dan Mead, current executive vice president and COO of Verizon Wireless, will assume the role of president and CEO of Verizon Wireless. Lowell McAdam, who is currently in the VZW president and CEO role, will move to president and COO of Verizon Communications, effective October 1. Current president of Verizon Telecom and Business, Francis J. Shammo, will become the executive vice president and CFO of Verizon Communications, effective November 1. The company also announced that John G. Stratton, current chief marketing officer at VZW, will succeed Mead as CEO. The moves made by Verizon solidify the company’s top executive positions, as several executives –including current Verizon EVP and CFO John Killian — are expected to retire at the end of this year. We’ve got the full press release ready for you after the break. More →
If you are anxiously awaiting the release of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s COO Kevin Turner has some good news for you. In a presentation regarding WP7, Turner let go the closest thing to a U.S. release date we’ve heard thus far, November. Turner said, “in the October timeframe and the November timeframe, October likely across Europe and November likely across the U.S. we’re back in this game.” Prior to this discovery, the closest go-live date given by Microsoft was a three month window they were referring to as “the holiday season.” November, with its thirty days, is certainly more welcomed and specific. We’re due to see handsets from Dell, HTC, Samsung, LG, and ASUS on or shortly after launch, so we say… bring on WP7! More →
Sometimes, company executives provide the best one-liners. Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, was speaking at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington D.C. when he let this little cherub go:
“It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their [Apple's] Vista, and I’m okay with that.”
But the COO wasn’t done there, he also went on to say, “One of the things I want to make sure you know today is that you’re going to be able to use a Windows Phone 7 and not have to worry about how you’re holding it to make a phone call.” Burn, Kevin, burn. The quotes are funny, albeit useless, and inject some humor into the following situation: Apple’s flagship product is having several reception issues and Microsoft’s current mobile OS is two years behind the rest of the smartphone market. Wait… that’s not funny. More →