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RIM’s chief of Australian, N.Z., operations quits

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

Research In Motion Ltd. says the head of its Australian and New Zealand division has left the company after taking the role earlier this year.

The company says Ray Gillenwater left "to pursue other opportunities."

Mr. Gillenwater will be replaced by Matthew Ball, who joined RIM about a year ago as head of its local marketing operations.

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Earlier this year, RIM acknowledged that it was behind an anti-Apple flash mob orchestrated by its Australian marketing department.

Dozens of people in black clothing showed up in a coach bus and waved signs at shoppers inside a Sydney Apple store that told them to "Wake Up."

The campaign was widely panned, partly because of RIM's own troubled launch of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and the delay of the new BlackBerry smartphones.

The announcement Wednesday came as RIM removes layers of its global management team, part of a widespread effort to cut 5,000 jobs to help save about $1-billion by the end of fiscal 2013.

The shuffle atop RIM's Australia and New Zealand operations is the second in six months. In April, Mr. Gillenwater took the lead role from Adele Beachley who resigned earlier.

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