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RIM loses PlayBook exec to Samsung

As RIM engages in layoffs, weathers investor criticism, and struggles to reassert itself in the mobile industry, the company may be facing something of a brain drain: a senior product manager for RIM’s PlayBook tablet, Ryan Bidan, has jumped ship to Samsung Mobile to service as director of product marketing—at least according to his LInkedIn profile.

The move comes barely a month after RIM’s chief marketing office Brain Wallace left the company for Samsung; that defection, in term, followed only a few months after the departure of Keith Pardy, who had headed up RIM’s BlackBerry marketing efforts. At the time, RIM did not announce a replacement, instead indicating co-CEO Jim Balsillie would be taking on more promotional duties.

The move comes after the lackluster launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook, which has so far failed to meet sales expectations and has generally been greeted with half-hearted reviews that the device simply was not ready for market.

Industry watchers speculate RIM may be in for more high-level defections as the company continues to engage in layoffs. Dissatisfaction within the company seem high; RIM recently had to take the unusual step of publicly responding to an open letter, apparently from a high-level RIM exec, outlining eight steps he or she believed would be critical to turning the company around. The author of the letter claimed to be articulating concerns from a “huge percentage” of RIM’s employee base.

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