BB appoints new MD to lead UK turnaround

Troubled BlackBerry owner Research in Motion (RIM) has appointed Rob Orr to lead its UK and Ireland business as it prepares to launch the much delayed BlackBerry 10 operating system in the hope of making up ground lost to Apple and Samsung.


RIM veteran Orr steps up from his current role as vice president of product management for EMEA region. He replaces Stephen Bates who will take on the newly created regional managing director for Europe job.

According to a statement, Orr will be tasked with ensuring RIM is “optimally structured to be fully focused on selling BlackBerry 7 smartphones and BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, and is prepared and ready for the launch of BlackBerry 10”.

His appointment comes amid a difficult period for the mobile phone maker. The launch of the BB10 operating system, seen as integral to the company’s ability to regain some of the market share it has lost to its rivals, has been pushed back until the start of next year, while falling sales have led to double-digit revenue drops.

BlackBerry has an 11% smartphone market share in the UK, according to Ipsos Mori data for April. Apple’s iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the UK, with a 19% share, while 15% of smartphone owners have an Android device.

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