Ex-QNX, Microsoft and Versatel exec Alec Saunders replaces Tyler Lessard as RIM's developer relations head

Looking forward not back

Ex-QNX, Microsoft and Versatel exec Alec Saunders replaces Tyler Lessard as RIM's developer relations head
There's plenty going on at RIM these days.

Following the departure of longterm head of developer relations Mike Kirkup in August, it's now been announced the company's veep for global alliances and developer relations Tyler Lessard has left for pastures new.

Replacing him is Alec Saunders, who takes up the role of veep for developer relations and ecosystem development.

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Saunders joins RIM with the mandate to drive growth in and build a developer community around QNX-powered BlackBerry devices.

He previously worked at QNX, which RIM bought in 2010, while also spending time at Microsoft, Versatel Networks and his own start up iotum.

Despite joining RIM at a difficult time, Sanders says there are plenty of opportunities.

"There's no reason why developers shouldn't be able to make a great living just by serving BlackBerry customers," he told the Inside BlackBerry Developers Blog.

"My team's job is to make it as attractive, easy and fun as possible for developers to build for the BlackBerry platform - smartphones and tablet alike.

Be my friend

Of course, winning back industry support will be key, especially given the widespread view that BlackBerry's tools lag those from Apple, Google, Microsoft and Nokia.

"Developer evangelism is all about personal contact, listening, responding, and educating. We're going to work very closely with the developer community, expand on support and programs that make it easy and rewarding for developers to create apps," Saunders promised.

It's expected that RIM will announce more about its strategy for QNX hardware as well as tools such as the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps player at the BlackBerry Developers Conference in San Francisco, 18-20 October.

You can find out more about event via its website.

[source: Inside BlackBerry Developer Blog]
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.