RIM Loses Another Executive as Government Chief Departs

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM)’s government affairs chief has left the BlackBerry smartphone maker, adding to the number of recent executive departures as the company struggles to stop market share losses.

Robert Crow, vice president for industry, government and university relations, left the company this past summer, as did RIM senior vice president Jim Tobin, RIM spokeswoman Tenille Kennedy said in an e-mail.

Crow and Tobin are two of at least eight senior level executives to have left the company this year amid the loss of customers to Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and phones built on Google Inc.’s Android platform. Tyler Lessard, who had been vice president for global alliances and developer relations, left RIM in September. Two other executives have left for Samsung Electronics Co., which makes Android phones.

RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, rose 0.1 percent to $21.30 at 4 p.m. New York time. The stock has lost 63 percent this year.

Crow was involved alongside co-Chief Executive Officers Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie in talks with authorities in India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who were looking to monitor BlackBerry communications. Telecommunications regulators wanted to be able to read e-mail and instant messages sent on the devices, citing the risk of BlackBerrys being used for fomenting social unrest or terrorism.

Job Eliminations

Crow is a consultant at R.E. Crow & Associates and is based in Waterloo, according to his LinkedIn page. There is no listing for him or his company in the local phone directories.

RIM’s Kennedy declined to comment on whether the departures were voluntary or part of a recent round of layoffs. The company said in July it planned to eliminate about 2,000 jobs, or a tenth of its workforce.

Tobin, who had led a recent cloud computing project with Microsoft Corp., had joined RIM in January 2010. Tobin, who came to RIM from U.S. cable company Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), had reported directly to Balsillie.

The news of Tobin’s departure was reported earlier by Reuters.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

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