RIM may replace CEOs soon, failures of 2011 recapped

By on January 3, 2012, 4:30 PM

Concerned investors and board members alike may be pushing to shake-up Research in Motion's existing leadership. More specifically, the roles co-CEOs and co-chairmen, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, may be combined into a single head position independent of the company's board of directors. It is expected that Barbara Stymiest, former CEO of TMX and the Royal Bank of Canada, would serve as the new head. Stymiest is also currently a board member.

A report will be issued by January 31 detailing recommendations to the board for possible company governance changes. Both co-CEOs are also members of the board so they will have their own input to include as well, however, it is clear that at least a change of direction may be necessary to keep RIM from fading away into the oblivion. 

It seems as though every other week we have bad news to deliver about RIM. As a result, this may not be a surprise for some. Here's a brief chronicling of the bad news RIM suffered in 2011:

  • Playbook launched to very unfavorable reviews and didn't even include BB mail or messenger
  • Blackberry's global market share slipped all year long
  • RIM bled revenue for the entire year, leading to layoffs and a steady decline in value
  • RIM suffered multiple network outages and subsequent lawsuits
  • Despite repeated Playbook price cuts, RIM was forced to write off  $490 million in unsold units
  • A RIM executive was charged with inflicting bodily injuries during an uruly BB event in Indonesia
  • Multiple trademark disputes have kept RIM busy: BBX (new OS) and BBM (Messenger)
  • After repeated delays, RIM's new BB products won't be released until late 2012
  • Several potential suitors flirted with buying RIM but the company refused
  • Insiders claim Blackberry 10, possibly RIM's salvation, appears to be a train wreck

User Comments: 7

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Guest said:

Will so many flops by so many companies in 2011 alone, I'd deduce that it's not easy to run a company - especially when the country is economically unstable.

People are holding on to their hard-earned money and reading reviews TWICE before purchasing; with that kind of mentality change in people, companies have not adapted and are still releasing low quality products that are full of issues and bugs - and that just doesn't fly anymore.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

JUST IN: New CEO launch delayed to fall 2013, due to, erhm.... manufacturing chips...

Tomorrow_Rains said:

i would love to buy a blackberry, too bad the models havent changed in 75 years.

it's like buying a ford mustang, then 175 years later, the same car but different interior color.

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

My recommendation to them is get out of the hardware business and focus on software. Anyone else have any thoughts?

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

stewi0001 said:

My recommendation to them is get out of the hardware business and focus on software. Anyone else have any thoughts?

The thing is, the reason why RIM is losing is precisely because its software is quite behind iOS and Android. To think they'd launch the PlayBook, for example, WITHOUT native e-mail support is a mockery at best, considering RIM got to where it is by having the market have this notion BB was great for businesses.

Well, guess what? That was 3-4 years ago. Besides some specific, server-based encryption features that only RIM provides, iOS, Android and even WP7 do e-mail just as good. It's not only that. For example, try to use the touchscreen keyboard on the all-touchscreen BB. It feels like such an afterthought, its laughable. It's details like that, that just tell you they are not even trying.

Guest said:

I just realise right now, but at a passing glance you might take Playbook as Playboy. I might add that, besides the fact that de denomination Playbook is confusing for costumers it is not very inspired. I mean, I could have come with this but when you have a bunch of overpaid a******* you might expect them to do better than to name a tablet Playbook.

Guest said:

@lawfer - so tell me, if RIM software is behind Android and IOS, what is stopping RIM to close the gap? It is not like this is an unfair question. After all, Microsoft started from the same conditions with WP7. So how many devs you need to create an operating system for a phone on which you can control the hardware specs? Is this a matter of devs team size after all? I guess not.

Nice mentioning the email mockery. I just finished reading some reviews about one of the first phone with WP7. One of the review was written right in those good old days. The same person wrote another review after the Mango update regarding the same phone. Guess what: the general feeling was that the encountered problems were WP7 related and that WP7 was pretty useless and after the mango update it became less useless. The review was very well explained, going through details - I was glad because those kind of informations were rare and useful. I was baffled - and I am baffled still. If Microsoft was able to sneak this under radar than why RIM couldn't sneak its playbook stuff? It seems to me that the customers choose the most shiny product - not necessarily the best product that suits them. I figure that the RIM marketing stuff said: well it worked for Microsoft (i.e. releasing an unfinished product with the promise of doing better on a later date) it might work for us.

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