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Research In Motion (RIM) Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie arrives at the annual general meeting of shareholders in Waterloo July 12, 2011. (MIKE CASSESE/MIKE CASSESE/REUTERS)
Research In Motion (RIM) Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie arrives at the annual general meeting of shareholders in Waterloo July 12, 2011. (MIKE CASSESE/MIKE CASSESE/REUTERS)

RIM confirms departure of senior executive on cloud-services team Add to ...

Research In Motion has parted ways with a senior executive involved with the company's move into “cloud-based” services, adding to a string of high-level departures from the BlackBerry maker.

Jim Tobin, senior vice-president for software and business services reporting directly to co-CEO Jim Balsillie, left the Canadian company months ago, RIM confirmed on Thursday in an e-mail. It has never officially announced the departure.

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Mr. Tobin was responsible for a recent move by RIM into cloud services – allowing its enterprise customers to use servers hosted by RIM instead of on-site computers to handle e-mail and other corporate data.

He also worked on a team that developed BBM Music, a song-sharing service run on top of RIM's popular BlackBerry Messenger application as well as a wider push to incorporate Messenger into third-party developer applications.

His exit further depletes a management team that has lost a number of top executives in developer relations, sales, and marketing in recent months, including chief marketing officer Keith Pardy and head of developer relations Tyler Lessard.

One of RIM's three chief operating officers, Don Morrison, resigned in July after taking a medical leave.

Two members of Mr. Pardy's team later left for jobs with rival Samsung, while a member of Mr. Lessard's developer outreach unit, Mike Kirkup, resigned in August.

The attrition comes as the smart-phone maker struggles to regain its competitive edge against Apple Inc.'s iPhone and iPad and a slew of devices using Google's Android software.

RIM has repeatedly delayed its new product releases, and once launched, some of its devices have received poor reviews. Earlier this month a global outage knocked out service for tens of millions of BlackBerry users across five continents.

In July RIM said it was slashing about 11 per cent of its workforce because of falling sales and profit.

A growing chorus of investors and analysts are calling for a shake-up at the very top of the company, where co-founder Mike Lazaridis and long-time partner Jim Balsillie share roles as chief executives and chairmen of the board.

RIM's shares have lost some 70 per cent of their value since a peak around $70 reached in February.

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