Last week, RIM said that new products would help the Waterloo company rebound from troubled times as of late. Company’s co-CEO Jim Balsillie remains bullish that the foundation of the company remains strong, adding that it is on the verge of one of the biggest product launches in its history. The company plans to put a team of independent directors to review its ownership structure and come up with a magic wand that’ll work for the shareholders and Balsillie and Lazaridis.
While those are all positive developments, it hasn’t deterred several top executives to look for greener pastures. Last month, Brian Wallace, who was RIM’s vice-president of marketing and media, left the company for a job at Samsung. And earlier this week, Ryan Bidan, formerly senior product manager for RIM’s PlayBook tablet, left the company to join – surprise surprise Samsung!
Bidan held the Senior Product Manager of the PlayBook project since October 2008. He was one of RIM’s most visible public faces in the PlayBook campaign as he assisted with demonstrations and media briefings. As fate would have it, the PlayBook turned out to be a failure of expectations.
He joins Samsung as the director of product marketing and will be moving base from Waterloo to Dallas. Prior to joining RIM, he has worked with Microsoft and a lesser-known company called WorldWithoutWire. Bidan holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.
In June, RIM revealed fiscal numbers that were below expectations and the company announced that it planned to cut jobs. RIM has already lost several top executives including Brain Wallace (Chief Marketing Officer) and Keith Pardy (headed RIM’s BlackBerry marketing efforts). When Pardy jumped ship, RIM did not announce a replacement and Balsillie took over his promotional duties. RIM has not named a replacement for Bidan. To be honest, I won’t be surprised if RIM faces more high-level defections as the company continues to engage in layoffs.
The impact of Bidan’s departure on the PlayBook roadmap remains to be seen. His departure couldn’t have been timed worse as there have already been rumors that the company is considering dumping the PlayBook. In response, RIM has staunchly denied the rumors and the company maintains that the tablet will be a major part of its future plans.