* Urpo Karjalainen named interim India head
* More than 1 million people use BlackBerry in India
* RIM also confirms earlier exit of Robert Crow
NEW DELHI, Nov 3 Research In Motion's
Indian unit said on Thursday its managing director, Frenny
Bawa, had left the company to pursue other interests and the
BlackBerry maker has appointed an interim replacement.
Urpo Karjalainen, senior vice-president for Greater China,
India and Australia and New Zealand, will oversee business
operations for India until RIM names a permanent replacement
for Bawa, the company said in a statement.
RIM has parted ways with a string of high-profile employees
in recent months, including chief marketing officer Keith
Pardy, head of developer relations Tyler Lessard, and Jim
Tobin, senior vice-president for software and business
services, who reported directly to co-CEO Jim Balsillie.
A RIM spokeswoman also confirmed media reports that Robert
Crow, the company's head of government relations, had left
several months ago after ten years of service in which he
helped in rapid global expansion.
Crow used to travel frequently to India and was a leading
figure in often tense discussions with Indian officials over
RIM has not publicly named a replacement for Crow, but
hired David Paterson, formerly of Manulife Financial ,
to a similar position a year ago, and in January added Mark
Cameron, a former aide to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
RIM has been buffeted by demands from governments including
India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for access to
encrypted BlackBerry communications.
Earlier this year, RIM gave India access to its consumer
services, including its Messenger services but said it could
not allow monitoring of its enterprise email.
Last month, a four-day service outage cast a shadow over
BlackBerry's reputation in India, one of the smartphone maker's
few growing markets, where the frustration of hundreds of
thousands of users could mean a chance for its rivals to gain
More than a million people use BlackBerry in India, the
world's second-biggest mobile phone market. RIM has established
a strong, though not dominant, foothold in the price-sensitive
market thanks largely to its low-priced models.