The transition to new leadership at RIM continues — the company has just announced new chief operating officer Kristian Tear (pictured above) and new chief marketing officer Frank Boulben. Tear comes to RIM from Sony Mobile, where he most recently worked as executive VP, while Boulben is a former executive VP at LightSquared. Tear fills a void left when former COO Thorstein Heins took the reins as RIM's new CEO back in January. One of the first things Heins said when he took over was that RIM was on the lookout for a new COO and CMO, so these hirings don't come as a major surprise — though they are undoubtably the biggest new hires that Heins has made in his short reign as CEO.

Tear has a long history with Sony and its former mobile partner Ericsson — from 1999 to 2005, he served as CEO and President at Ericsson for a variety of regions, transitioning to corporate VP of Sony Ericsson in Western Europe and eventually working as executive VP for the reorganized Sony Mobile Communications group. Boulben's background is more carrier focused — before his role at LightSquared, he worked as director of commercial strategy for Vodafone and also spent some time as executive VP for brand and consumer marketing at Orange.

In RIM's press release announcing the hires, Heins said that "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." He also noted that his new hires possess a keen understanding of the emerging trends in mobile communications and computing" — something that RIM undoubtably values as it tries to bring its BlackBerry brand up to par with the competition.