Apple Poaching RIM Employees for iPhone Enterprise Push?
Is it me, or has Apple been getting edgier lately? The latest potential example: The Wall Street Journal has reported that Apple may be poaching RIM Employees to work for enterprise divisions inside Apple Inc. and claims five former RIM employees have now started working at Apple in the last couple of years. At first glance, the moves involve the iPhone. But longer term there could be an iPad enterprise story here. But is the Apple vs. RIM talent debate really a story? Read on for a little perspective.
As you may recall, Steve Jobs attacked RIM during a recent Apple earnings call, calling RIM out on their world-standing as a phone maker and their foray into making a 7-inch Playbook tablet. Now, The Wall Street Journal (subscription only, but the full text here) says Apple has picked up key RIM veterans, such as Geoff Perfect, over the past 18 months. Perfect, who was head of strategic sales at RIM for 5 years, joined Apple in May of 2009 as head of enterprise iPhone sales. He joined Apple only one month after leaving RIM, according to the WSJ.
So who else is leaping from RIM to Apple? the WSJ mentions:
- Joe Bartlett – 4 years at RIM as Global Strategic Account Manager – Joined Apple January 2010 as New England Region Business Sales Rep for iPhones and iPads.
- Steve Marshall – 4 years at RIM as Senior Global Sales Manager- Joined Apple January 2010 as iPhone Sales Rep for Greater NYC Area.
- Peter Decker – 4 years at RIM as Global Account Manager – Joined Apple February 2010 as iPhone Sales Rep for Greater NYC Area.
- Paul Alvarez – 5 years at RIM as Global Strategic Account Manager – Joined Apple June 2010 (same month he left RIM) as iPad and iPhone sales Canada.
The WSJ did some homework this time, noting that…
An Apple spokesman confirmed that all five individuals are working in enterprise sales at Apple, but declined to comment beyond that.
Bravo. So what does this mean for Apple and RIM in general? At first glance a war is brewing. And it involves more than the iPhone. Apple also wants the iPad to be an enterprise success. Moreover, Apple’s recent recruits have a mix of mobile, engineering and vertical market expertise — especially with the recent board appointment of former Grumman CEO Ronald D. Sugar.
Still, is it really news that five former RIM employees joined Apple in recent months? The VAR Guy’s blogging team can name dozens — yes, dozens — of employees who have moved between Avaya, Nortel and Cisco. In stark comparison, five employees moving from Apple to RIM seems like a far smaller trend…