RIM's co-CEOs quit in top exec shake-up
Will it be too little, too late?
A Research in Motion management shake-up has swapped out its co-CEOs for a new top exec following a challenging period for the gadget maker.
Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, RIM's co-chief executives, have stepped aside after 20 years at the trouble biz, and the company on Monday named Thorsten Heins as president and CEO.
Lazaridis co-founded RIM in 1984 while Balsillie joined in 1992. A relatively unknown insider, Heins joined RIM in 2007 from Siemens' Communications Division and served as chief operating officer of product engineering.
Lazaridis and Balsillie are not entirely gone, however; Lazaridis remains on RIM's board as vice-chairman and as chair of the board's new innovation committee while Balsillie remains simply as a board member.
The pair have finally resigned as their company's troubles mounted.
Sales have dropped and profits have fallen, disappointing shareholders and prompting calls for changes to strategy and direction. One factor for discontent was the disappointing PlayBook, RIM's supposed answer to the super-soaraway Apple iPad. Launched with a flourish and much promise by management, sales fizzled and RIM was forced to cut prices simply to shift units.
The PlayBook was a strategic play for RIM; in 2010 it bought QNX Software Systems whose Neutrino embedded operating system became the basis of the PlayBook's OS.
While the PlayBook sank, RIM's traditional phone business has also been under pressure: market share for the BlackBerry has been under attack from Apple's iPhone and devices running Google's Android, and RIM has seen its market share decline. ®
'Chair of the new Innovation Committee' says it all really. RIMs fucked.
RIM, whatever you do...
...hang on to the guy who designs your hardware.
Every time I get angry at the OS on my Torch, I consider the other options - and can't think of one that can take bangs, slams, drops, long drops, partial immersions, impacts large enough to pop the battery off, and gouges, and still have barely a scratch on the screen... or one that goes two days on a charge with heavy data / phone usage... or one with a camera light brighter than most flashlights... or a speaker - oops, stereo speakers that actually function - loud enough you can prop it on the window sill and listen to trance music while doind the dishes...
Or a camera that doesn't suck...
Oh, and a physical keyboard on which I can type 30wpm.
The playbook hardware is equally excellent, and the speakers are better than any laptop speakers I've heard. And -its- OS is very good; bezel swipes are so natural to me now I can't imagine using a tablet otherwise. It just needs better third party software... which, of course, requires success, which requires third party etc etc...
It's really too bad. Put a decent OS in the phones and decent apps on the playbook, and you'd be golden. Assuming anything could possibly override he selffulfilling 'doomed and sucks' perception now.
Strange isn't it...
I'm in Cafe Gusto in Birmingham's MailBox shopping corridor thingy, just having a late lunch before teaching an evening class. The joys of sessional work, three hour lesson in the morning and a three hour lesson in the evening and just not enough time in between to get home and back...
I've just been using my humble blackberry 9300 to txt the missus. I bought it on payg for the hardware keyboard. I won't be using the Blackberry mail service once I solve the puzzle of how to access the authenticated smtp server my web hosts provide me with in the logicmail app. I quite like NOT getting push e-mail.
There is a table with three young ladies all texting away and sharing the jokes, Two blackberrys and an iPhone. Some chaps behind have an android looking large flat phone and a blackberry. So, mid afternoon thats four blackberrys and two other phones. Check any College canteen and the blackberrys will outnumber the rest by a similar ratio (leeching the public access wifi and sending Really Important Messages using BBM).
Opps, another two blackberrys have just walked in. One in a pink sleeve and the other in a leather wallet thing.
How are they failing? Do we think they will be able to work out how to sell cheapo phones in Asia?