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By 27 July 2012 | Categories: news

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BlackBerry holding company RIM (Research In Motion) has announced the appointment of Alexandra Zagury as managing director for South Africa and Southern Africa. Zagury will be based in Johannesburg and is to oversee all of the Canadian smartphone and tablet maker’s operations and sales and marketing efforts for the region.

Zagury has been with RIM for over four years and was the firm’s first managing director for Turkey. Prior to moving to Istanbul, she was based in the UK, where she was responsible for regional strategic planning and business operations for the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).

Before joining RIM in April 2008, Zagury was at internet search firm Yahoo’s European office, where she headed the UK as well as the Pan-Euro business operations and intelligence teams. Her earlier work experience spans across the property, leisure, financial services and media industries fields within the US, Tunisia, Argentina, Korea and Poland.

Although RIM is going tough times internationally, reporting a loss for Q1 2012 to the tune of $518 million, the company remains immensely popular on the local smartphone front.

According to Canadian company, May 2012’s retail and technology figures from market research firm GfK, revealed that BlackBerry smartphones accounted for seven out of the ten best-selling smartphones in South Africa. GfK data in May also showed that BlackBerry has been the leading smartphone vendor in South Africa for more than 20 months.

“I am excited to be taking on the role of managing director for the Southern African region, one of RIM’s most important growth markets,” Zagury stated. “We are proud of the company’s success in this region, particularly in South Africa where BlackBerry is the leading smartphone brand, and I believe there is still tremendous opportunity for growth. Our goal is to maintain customer loyalty and expand RIM’s leading position in South Africa by being even more customer-focused and by working closely with our carrier and developer partners across the region.”

Robert Bose, RIM's regional managing director for Africa and the Middle East added: “Alexandra brings a wealth of commercial, strategic and leadership experience to this role, and she will be instrumental in driving the next stage of our business growth in Southern Africa.”

In related news, RIM recently made its latest smartphone, the new Curve 9320, available to customers in South Africa after first unveiling the device back in May. The Curve 9320 operates on the firm’s latest mobile operating system, BlackBerry 7.1 OS, which brings new features to the mobile phone such as Stereo FM Radio and Mobile Hotspot functionality.

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