Toronto Star - How to be RIM’s next marketing director 1/26/2012 11:14:00 AM
How to be RIM’s next marketing director
January 26, 2012
Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew
When Thorsten Heins suddenly took the reins of Research in Motion on Monday, he told analysts that one of his first acts will be to hire a new chief marketing officer to help revive the BlackBerry-maker’s brand in the U.S.
RIM’s former chief marketing office Keith Pardy, left the company in early 2011, when co-chief executive Jim Balsillie assumed responsibility for overall marketing. In June, Brian Wallace, who headed digital marketing, left for rival Samsung.
The Star asked Alex Kovalenko, founder of Kovasys Inc., a recruiting agency that specializes high-tech industries, what it would take to make the cut.
Vision: “The winning candidate needs to be a visionary first and everything else second,” Kovalenko said. Foreseeing how the marketing strategy will affect people using RIM products now and in the future is as essential as being a highly organized self-starter.
Pick an Apple: Ideally, RIM would recruit from a large company, perhaps Apple or Google, Kovalenko said. But they should be from the tech field — “a chief marketing officer from a car company may not be the best fit.”
To MBA or not MBA: Probably MBA. Companies often consider candidates without a Masters degree, but most of the time, those with an MBA tend to come out on top.
It’s a big world out there: Considering there are so many problems in the company right now, a candidate from outside who has a fresh perspective has an edge.
Big payday: “I would expect this position to pay salary of $100,000 to $150,000 plus bonus and stock options for total compensation of about $200,000 per year.”
Love a challenge: It’s a big job, but someone has to do it. “The company might say we’ve made some mistakes but this is the new direction we would be taking and you would help lead us.”
Love Waterloo, too (and air travel): “The advantage of living in Waterloo is that the housing is very affordable and its a great place to raise a family. I would imagine a chief marketing office would be in his or her 40 or 50s with children who are still in school or preparing for university. Waterloo would make a good home base while he or she travels around the world.”
Be patient: “When we search for key directors, it takes anywhere from three to five months. We may reach out to 100 people to find 4 or 5 who have the right qualifications and may consider leaving their company. Even then when they get into the interview process, the candidate may say, ‘This doesn’t excite me. I don’t want a change,’ and we’re back to square one.”