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RIM appoints new managing director for UK and Ireland

Research In Motion has selected a new managing director for its UK and Ireland business, the company has said.

Rob Orr, a vice president with the company's Europe, Middle East and Africa region, will take over as of 1 September, replacing Stephen Bates.

Bates will become regional managing director for Europe, a new position.

The move is the latest in a series of management changes at the Blackberry maker since new CEO Thorsten Heins replaced long-time co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie in January.

A steady stream of senior staff have left the Waterloo, Ontario-based company in recent months, including its chief legal officer, head of global sales, a chief operating officer and its head of software.

In July, the head of the company's Australian and New Zealand operations stepped down just months after being promoted to the job.

RIM's devices have lost ground to Apple's iPhone and a range of smartphones that run on Google's Android software, and shares are down more than 50 per cent this year to date.

The company plans to launch its next-generation line of smartphones running a new Blackberry 10 operating system early next year.

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