Research In Motion's head of Global Sales, Patrick Spence, exits after 14 years

By Bla1ze on 23 May 2012 06:48 pm EDT
Patrick Spence

Although there has been plenty of shuffling of the ranks happening within RIM over the past little while, a rather significant change has just been confirmed by RIM themselves to the Wall Street Journal. Research In Motion's head of Global Sales, Patrick Spence, will be exiting after a 14 year long stay with the company.

I can confirm that Patrick Spence, Head of Global Sales for Research In Motion, has resigned following 14 years of service. Patrick will be taking on a leadership position in a different industry. The sales function will report directly into Kristian Tear, our newly appointed COO when he starts this summer. In the interim, the sales function will report to CEO Thorsten Heins.

Patrick, who joined RIM in 1998 and helped launch RIM’s Inter@ctive Pager 950 to the masses, will be taking on a new role elsewhere in the technology world. Where, exactly was not mentioned at this time but given the fact he maintained a high level of brand evangelism throughout his career at RIM it's certainly a departure that will be viewed as a loss.

Source: WSJ

Reader comments

Research In Motion's head of Global Sales, Patrick Spence, exits after 14 years


I think this is a very interesting announcement - three ways I can look at it:

1. Thorston canned him, as politely as possible;
2. He got a much better position elsewhere and decided it was time to move on;
3. He doesn't have faith in the ability of RIM to execute effectively on BB10 and decided it was time to get out before that happened.

Hopefully it ain't number 3.

I suspect he got offered a better position and moved on.

Maybe a position that sales is actually a respected and understood facet of the Business.

Basically Patrick was expecting to get COO post at RIM but he is disappointed when Thorsten hired COO from outside.

"A source close to the company aware of Mr. Spence’s departure said the executive’s last day would be June 15, and that Mr. Spence likely stepped down after not receiving the COO job – despite being pegged for promotion to a C level job". .Globe & Mail

The clear out continues.

No doubt if they'd wanted to keep him around they'd have found a way.

He must have been really young when he started, so he would have had very little experience outside of RIM. RIM needs outsiders, people with a new perspective. Just as Patrick's experience is now valued by another company.

"damned if you do and damned if you don't"

People asked for a shake-up. We don't know if he, as bloomberg puts it, "quit" or went on to seek other opportunities.

What we do know is that Tear does have a sales background and one of his responsibilities has been defined as overseeing global sales.

He was just promoted to EVP of Sales less than 12 months ago. Probably what happened:

1) BBOS 7 sales have been poor and not meeting internal sales targets
2) He's been feeling the pressure to sell, sell, sell
3) Android has eaten his bonus, NO BONUS FOR YOU!
4) He looks at the product pipeline, No PlayBook 4G nor BBOS 10 until late fall 2012
5) Christ! My Bonus is going to SUCK AGAIN
6) Quits for better opportunities

RIM needs new blood, hungry to generate Sales

deRusett, you're up at bat! You were born to sell.

My guess is that Thorston has been weeding out all the executive dead weight at Rim. Patrick Spence was probably not doing jack $hit while at the same time collecting a huge salary and perks so Thorston politely gave him the boot. Lets hope he trims some more useless executives before BB10.

The writing has been on the wall for months. Poor global sales, especially in the US. Two Rim sales executives taken off a flight to China for drunkeness. These items were symptematic of a lot of problems under Patrick Spence's watch. Hopefully the hiring of Kristian Tear will help fix the problems and install a new attitude.

1. RIM isn't going out of business.
2. They aren't losing money.
3. They are growing outside of the USA, which I stand by correct, that USA ISN'T EVERYTHING.
4. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, The world doesn't revolve around america. RIM is GROWING.

If he is leaving and his portfolio is being transferred to the COO, then RIM was a tad more top heavy than we thought. What with two co-CEOs etc.
A leaner top brass will always be more responsive.
That said RIM is not really struggling globally, and with 14 years experience he was better in than out.

Out with the old and in with the new. IMO he was part of the problem and hasn't proved his usefullness. I am surprised they didn't fire him last year.

New COO bringing in his own people, or like others have said he expected to be tapped for a c-level position.

When you bring in a new big-dog, there's going to be some movement amongst his/her direct reports.