User Interface Guru Leaves RIM
Hampus Jakobsson, founder of The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) — the boutique user interface design firm RIM acquired in 2010 — left the company this week ostensibly to pursue new opportunities. “I’m a startup-guy,” he explained on Twitter. “Even if I really liked the company and the people, I felt it was time to start another one.”
With RIM gearing up for the 2013 launch of BlackBerry 10, the OS on which the company plans to mount its big comeback, Jakobsson’s departure is particularly ill-timed. TAT has been instrumental in designing BlackBerry 10’s UI and while Jakobsson lately had been focusing his efforts on RIM’s strategic alliance portfolio, his decision to leave the company at this juncture doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
RIM, for its part, says it will be just fine without him. “The BlackBerry 10 UI team, which includes many members of The Astonishing Tribe, as well as others around the world, remains on track to deliver BlackBerry 10 in the first quarter of 2013,” the company said in a statement confirming Jakobsson’s departure.