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Did RIM lose its BlackBerry software boss just ahead of QNX transition?

BGR has learned that Research In Motion’s head of BlackBerry software may have left the company. Suresh Periyalwar, Senior Vice President of Handheld Software, had been with RIM since April 2001 when he joined as Director of Software Development. He came to the company from Nortel, where he managed CDMA-related development for more than five years. Periyalwar was promoted to SVP at RIM three years ago in May 2008 according to his LinkedIn profile, which still has him listed as a RIM employee. BGR has also learned from a trusted source that several additional key executives have been planning to leave on their own accord. (more

RIM’s stock is down more than 60% from its 12-month high of $70.54, and there is a great deal of unrest at the company’s headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario. BGR exclusively published an open letter from an anonymous senior executive at RIM late last month, which pleaded for the company’s top management to make several strategic changes in order to regain momentum and mind share in the smartphone market. A later expose, also published by BGR, painted a troubling picture of the smartphone vendor that once revolutionized the industry.

If Periyalwar did in fact leave the company as multiple sources have informed BGR, it might not bode well for RIM’s next-generation smartphones. The departure of RIM’s SVP of Handheld Software just ahead of the company’s transition to QNX could imply that the executive did not have confidence in RIM’s brand new platform. On the other hand, Periyalwar may have been pushed out in favor of fresh leadership in its software division ahead of the company’s QNX smartphone launches. RIM declined to confirm or deny the executive’s departure when reached for comment by BGR. Periyalwar could not be reached for comment.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.