Sunil Dutt, managing director of Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) (now Blackberry) India has stepped down from his post roughly a year after taking the job. There were talks earlier that he may leave after the launch of Blackberry Z10. A report said that Dutt, who previously worked with Samsung India and then joined Blackberry, has planned to exit after the recent launch of Blackberry flagship Z10 device.
Rick Costanzo, the Executive vice president for global sales will take Dutt’s position until a new successor is found. Talking to ZDnet, Varghese Thomas, the Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) India and Greater China director corporate communications confirmed that Dutt “left his position…with immediate effect”.
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“India is an extremely important market for BlackBerry and our aim is to continue to build on our recent momentum with the launch of BlackBerry 10 (BB10),” Thomas said. “We wish Sunil well for the future.”
In an interview on March 7, Dutt said the exceptional sales from the recent product launch prompted an increase of internal projections. “Our own internal forecast has been beefed up for BB10 devices by about 40 percent after seeing the response in other markets.” he was quoted by the paper. “This is a game changer for BlackBerry and also for the industry. We are already running out of stock.”
The departure of Dutt from the struggling smartphone maker comes at a crucial time, when the phone maker was reported to have handed over PIN codes for handsets shipped to India. Over the past years, Indian Government has consistently put pressure on the Canadian phone maker for enabling its devices to be monitored regarding the communication between Blackberry devices as its encryption was considered to be too secure. Finally in 2011 the company took a softer line and built Blackberry servers in Mumbai. Last November, the Indian government, ordered local operators to enable the monitoring of BlackBerry services before December 31 or face the consequences.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, the number of units of Blackberry, which were sold in India, was so low that the company could not find a place for itself in top five smartphone vendors, according to a report published by IDC. The new Blackberry Z10 was launched in India on February 25 2013, and the Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO, Thorsten Heins said that he was taken by surprise by the sale of Z10 in India after its debut. Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s CEO further told that five days worth of Inventory was just sold in two days.