Rogers President and CEO to retire in January 2014

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Feb 152013
Rogers Communications

There is some surprising news from Rogers this morning. Rogers Communications today announced that Nadir Mohamed, the company’s President and CEO, will retire in January 2014. Mohamed will continue to lead the company until then and will work with the board on transition activities.

“Nadir is a highly regarded executive who has delivered strong results and substantial value for more than a decade,” said Alan Horn, Chairman of the Board, Rogers Communications Inc. “Thanks to his disciplined and strategic management approach we’ve strengthened our core business, solidified our financial position and set Rogers up for long-term success. The board is grateful for his significant contributions and looks forward to working with him to ensure a seamless and orderly transition.”

Rogers will appoint a search committee and search firm to begin looking for a successor. Neither Edward Rogers, Deputy Chairman and Chair of the Rogers Control Trust, or Melinda Rogers, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Development, will seek the position. Both, along with Mohamed, will participate in the selection process.

No reason was given for Mohamed’s decision to retire.

Mohamed took on his current role in March 2009, succeeding the late company founder Ted Rogers. He has been with Rogers since 2000.

Read more: Rogers

Motorola nabs key Samsung marketing executive?

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Dec 222012

Motorola MobilityEarlier this week, we got our first sign that Google has some big plans in 2013 for its recently acquired Motorola business. The rumoured Motorola Phone X is meant to take on flagship devices from other smartphone manufacturers. But an impressive device alone is likely not enough. A strong marketing campaign will also be needed to make sure that the Phone X is not drowned out by the hype and media attention that will follow the launch of new flagship devices from smartphone business heavyweights Apple and Samsung. Who better to lead this effort than one who has already done this for one of these two companies.

According to AllThingsD, Google has hired Brian Wallace who was Vice President for Strategic Marketing at Samsung Telecommunications America to take on a similar role at Motorola. While many may not be familiar with his name, they are familiar with the famous campaign that poked a good deal of fun at Apple and its devoted customers. The last such ad was the following:

Wallace was with Samsung for about a year. Before that, he was RIM’s Vice President, Global Digital Marketing and Media.

Will we now see Motorola ads poking fun at both Apple and Samsung in the near future?

Read more: AllThingsD

HTC appoints new Chief Marketing Officer

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Nov 282012

HTCHTC today announced the appointment of a new Chief Marketing Officer as it looks to turn its fortunes around in 2013. Benjamin Ho will take over as Chief Marketing Officer, responsible for worldwide marketing and branding, in January 2013.

“We welcome Benjamin to HTC and look forward to integrating the global marketing capabilities he brings to the company, said Peter Chou, CEO HTC. “Our growing brand, centered around our world-class innovation and design capabilities, will provide a global platform not just for HTC, but for Taiwan culture and innovation.”

Ho already has his first assignment. A project internally called Marketing 2.0 will see Ho look to refocus “HTC’s efforts around holistic marketing and mass-market brand outreach.”

Benjamin Ho replaces the departing John Wang.

Read more: HTC

Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft

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Nov 122012

MicrosoftMicrosoft today announced that Steven Sinofsky, Windows Live President, who led the Windows group, has left the company effective immediately. He will be replaced by Julie Larson-Green who will be promoted to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering. Tami Reller, already chief financial officer and chief marketing officer, will also assume responsibility for the Windows business.

“I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company,” Ballmer said. “The products and services we have delivered to the market in the past few months mark the launch of a new era at Microsoft. We’ve built an incredible foundation with new releases of Microsoft Office, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Microsoft Surface, Windows Server 2012 and ‘Halo 4,’ and great integration of services such as Bing, Skype and Xbox across all our products. To continue this success it is imperative that we continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings.”

No specific reason was given as to why Sinofsky, who had been with Microsoft since 1989, decided to leave less than a month after the launch of Windows 8. AllThingsD suggests that his departure was due to growing tension between Sinofsky and other top executives. Sinofsky was viewed as not being “the kind of team player that the company was looking for.”

It sounds a lot like the shakeup at Apple in late October.

Read more: Microsoft and AllThingsD

Management shakeup at Apple sees Forstall and Browett to leave

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Oct 292012

AppleApple today announced a number of changes to its executive team to “encourage even more collaboration between the Company’s world-class hardware, software and services teams.” As a result, Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi will all take on additional responsibilities.

“We are in one of the most prolific periods of innovation and new products in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The amazing products that we’ve introduced in September and October, iPhone 5, iOS 6, iPad mini, iPad, iMac, MacBook Pro, iPod touch, iPod nano and many of our applications, could only have been created at Apple and are the direct result of our relentless focus on tightly integrating world-class hardware, software and services.”

Jony Ive will take on leadership for Human Interface (HI) across the company. Eddie Cue will pick up responsibility for Siri and Maps as all of Apple’s online services move into a single group. Craig Federighi will lead both iOS and OS X operating systems. Bob Mansfield will lead a new group called Technologies that will combine all of Apple’s wireless teams into a single one and will also include the semiconductor teams, “who have ambitious plans for the future.”

There are also two key departures: Scott Forstall, SVP of iOS Software, will leave sometime next year. In the meantime, he will act as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook. John Browett, head of Apple retail, is also leaving after being on the job for less than a year. Apple will be looking for a new head of Retail.

Read more: Apple

John Legere named new T-Mobile USA CEO

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Sep 192012

T-Mobile USADeutsche Telekom, T-Mobile USA’s parent company, today announced the appointment of John Legere as its U.S. carrier’s new Chief Executive Officer. He succeeds Jim Alling, who has served as interim CEO since June when former CEO Phillip Hume resigned.

“John is a talented and proven executive who brings a successful track record of leading and operating consumer- and business-focused telecommunications and technology companies,” said René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom. “As T-Mobile moves forward with its strategic initiatives to improve its market position, including expanding its network coverage and initiating LTE service, John has obviously the right skillset to lead the business into the future. John’s experience in the telecommunication and technology industries at Global Crossing and Dell will enhance T-Mobile’s ability to deliver superior mobile experiences for our customers as the Company continues to strengthen its business. I am delighted to welcome John to T-Mobile and look forward to working with him to make T-Mobile a stronger competitor.”

T-Mobile USA is the only major U.S. carrier not to have launched LTE yet.

Read more: T-Mobile USA

WIND Mobile appoints Pietro Cordova as Chief Operating Officer

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Jul 272012

WIND MobileWIND Mobile today announced that Pietro Cordova will take over as the company’s Chief Operating Officer from Gianluca Corti who is taking on a senior role outside of Canada with Wind Telecomunicazioni.

“This is a great day for WIND Mobile, VimpelCom, and for Pietro and Gianluca. Pietro brings a wealth of experience, accomplishments and enthusiasm to the role of Chief Operating Officer, and we couldn’t be happier that he is here to help fulfill our goal of becoming Canada’s fourth national wireless carrier,” said Tony Lacavera, Chairman and CEO, WIND Mobile. “Given his impressive list of accomplishments during his time as COO, I know Gianluca will be a tremendous asset to the $5.5 billion dollar fixed and mobile consumer business at Wind Telecomunicazioni. In the coming weeks we’ll work together to ensure a smooth and seamless transition process.”

Cordova is expected to continue following the current strategy “focusing on postpaid wireless customers, ensuring the highest-levels of network quality, and delivering industry-leading customer care.”

Cordova has been with Wind Telecomunicazioni since 2005. He previously held senior roles with the Atlantia Group and Telecom Italia. He also lived in Toronto between 1991 and 1998.

Read more: WIND Mobile

Lazaridis and Balsillie exit costs RIM US$12 million

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Jun 142012

Research In MotionDocuments filed today reveal that Research In Motion will pay a combined US$12 million to Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, the company’s former co-CEOs and co-chairmen, who stepped down in January.

Lazaridis received US$3.9-million in compensation. Still servicng as vice-chair of the board, he also still has access to a dedicated office and a company car with driver.

Balsillie, now an ordinary director, received compensation of about US$7.9-million.

The payouts are part of transition agreements with the two executives who, according to the document “revolutionized the worldwide wireless industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry and forever changed how the world communicates.”

For his part, new CEO Thorsten Heins saw his compensation climb to about US$10.2-million for RIM’s fiscal year 2012. Should he be terminated “without cause or good reason,” he will be entitled to his total base salary and other forms of compensation for 24 months.

RIM’s stock has lost 75% of its value in the past year and now hovers around the $11 mark. Its 52-week high is about US$35, down significantly from its peak of almost US$150 only a few years back.

Read more: The Globe and Mail

Jun 072012

SamsungSamsung Electronics today has a new CEO. Dr. Kwon Oh-hyun, formerly Vice Chairman of Device Solutions, took over the role today from Choi Gee-sung who stepped down from the role he had held since 2010. Dr. Kwon will manage “corporatewide affairs” and is likely to take on a greater role in the long simmering feud with Apple.

Choi is taking on a new role as the head of Samsung Group’s corporate strategy. According to a statement citing an unnamed executive:

“Choi is the best candidate who can chart Samsung through the global economic crisis and ever-intensifying competition. Under Choi, Samsung plans to pursue innovative changes.”

Choi is also seen as a mentor to Jay Y. Lee, son of Samsung Electronics’ chairman Lee Kun-hee. Lee is current Samsung’s Chief Operating Officer but is expected to eventually take control of the Samsung Group.

Read more: Reuters

RIM hires new Chief Operating and Chief Marketing Officers

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May 082012

Research In MotionResearch In Motion today announced the appointment of Kristian Tear as Chief Operating Officer and Frank Boulben as Chief Marketing Officer.

“Kristian and Frank bring extensive knowledge of the rapidly changing wireless global market and will help RIM as we sharpen our focus on delivering long-term value to our stakeholders,” said Thorsten Heins, RIM’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Most importantly, both Kristian and Frank possess a keen understanding of the emerging trends in mobile communications and computing.”

Kristian Tear joins RIM from Sony Mobile Communications, where he served as Executive Vice President. He brings almost 25 years of wireless experience in general management, sales and marketing, services and operations within the telecommunications, infrastructure and consumer industries. As RIM’s Chief Operating Officer, he will be responsible for all operational functions for handhelds and services, including research and development, products, global sales, manufacturing and supply chain.

Frank Boulben was Executive Vice President of Strategy, Marketing and Sales for LightSquared. He has 20 years of experience with companies such as Vodafone Group, Orange Group, and Vivendi Universal. He has also served on the Board of the GSM Association. He will now oversee global marketing efforts at RIM.

Read more: Research In Motion

RIM management exodus continues

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Apr 092012

Research In MotionResearch In Motion continues to lose senior executives as the company struggles to reverse its sliding fortunes. The latest to leave is Alistair Mitchell, a BBM vice president. He will shortly be followed by Alan Brenner, a senior vice president for the BlackBerry platform, who will leave after a transition period.

A number of executive departures, including that of Jim Balsillie, were announced when RIM announced its latest financial results. RIM has also lost its marketing lead, two Chief Operating Officers, among others in the last number of months. Employees of all ranks have not been immune as the company has undergone layoffs as well.

Thorsten Heins recently took on the roles of President and CEO recently and is now looking at what options the company has. Everything from licensing agreements and partnerhips to an outright sale of the company is on the table.

Read more: Reuters

Sony Mobile Communications announces new president and CEO

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Apr 042012

SonySony Mobile Communications today announced that Kunimasa Suzuki will become President and CEO of Sony Mobile Communications effective May 16th 2012. Bert Nordberg, the current President and CEO and former Sony Ericsson leader, will step down to become Chairman of Sony Mobile Communications’ board.

“Kuni has a vast experience in product planning and management in the information technology and mobile product business, as well as experience of cultivating business in emerging markets,” said Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO of Sony Corporation. “He is a strong leader and the right person to oversee Sony Mobile Communications as we establish a new business structure as ‵One Sony’ intended to reinforce and accelerate our overall business management.”

Sony closed its acquistion of Ericsson’s share in their Sony Ericsson joint venture earlier this year. It renamed its new subsidiary has since then been integrating its operations into its own.

Read more: Sony

WIND Mobile CEO denies imminent management shakeup

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Mar 262012

WIND MobileWIND Mobile CEO Anthony Lacavera today dismissed rumours that a management shakeup was coming to the Canadian carrier. “There is no management shuffle planned at Wind Canada,” CEO Anthony Lacavera said in an e-mail on Monday. “A lot of progress has been made and I am very proud of our team.”

Speculation began shortly after the Canadian government loosened foreign ownership rules for telecom companies earlier this month. Foreign companies will now be able take up full 100% ownership of any carrier with less than a 10 percent market share. WIND Mobile is such a carrier.

The departure of Ossama Bessada, VimpelCom Executive Vice President and Head of the Europe and North America Business Unit, who is now planning to relocate to Canada added fuel the the rumours, especially as WIND Mobile has been financially backed by Orascom, a carrier which has since merged with VimpelCom.

UBS Securities Canada analyst Phillip Huang suggested that the announcement was not coincidence. “We believe Mr. Bessada has been closely involved with the development of Wind Canada,” Phillip Huang wrote in a note today. “Despite his intention to leave [VimpelCom], we find the destination for his relocation and the timing of the announcement intriguing (2 weeks after the relaxation of telecom foreign ownership restrictions).”

Huang adds that WIND Mobile’s threats not to participate in the upcoming spectrum auction could be a sign that it has put itself up for sale.

Read more: The Globe and Mail

Former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein leaves HP

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Jan 272012

Hewlett-PackardJon Rubinstein, Palm’s former CEO HP, has left Hewlett-Packard, the company that acquired Palm in 2010. HP spokeswoman Mylene Mangalindan confirmed the departure: “Jon has fulfilled his commitment and we wish him well.”

Rubinstein does not appear to have any immediate plans. He told AllThingsD that “I am going to take a well deserved break after four and a half years of developing webOS.”

His departure had been planned for some time. When acquired, he had made a “12- to 24-month commitment.” HP’s decision under former CEO Leo Apotheker to get out of the webOS hardware business likely did not help convince him that he should stay around longer.

HP this week outlined the timetable it would follow to fully open source webOS.

Read more: AllThingsD

New RIM CEO speaks about his vision and objectives

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Jan 232012

Research In MotionThe week is off to a dramatic start with the news that Research In Motion’s Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have resigned as co-CEOs and co-chairmen. Thorsten Heins has taken on the roles of President and CEO and wasted no time sharing some thoughts on what we can expect from him:

Heins touched upon a number of topics promising more marketing (with an increased consumer focus and the hiring of a new Chief Marketing Officer), ongoing innovation (“We always think ahead; we always think forward; we sometimes think the unthinkable”), and improved internal processes, discipline and execution. Heins also remains open to the idea of licensing BlackBerry 10.

Fundamentally, Heins has not proposed anything that is a radical departure from RIM’s current strategy. Heins remains focused on the PlayBook (and PlayBook OS 2.0), calling it “a new mobile computing platform,” and the upcoming BlackBerry 10 launch (he “can’t wait to see it.”).

Early response on Wall Street has not been favourable. RIMM is down over 6% as I’m posting this…