Monday, January 23, 2012

RIM Co-CEOs Step Down

Does this come as a surprise?
No.  This is something that many would probably say is overdue including RIM investors and stockholders.
  Unfortunately- we're talking about an iconic company and once one of Canada’s most valuable companies.  Mike Lazaridis founded the company in 1984.  Co-CEOs, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, saw a two decade reign.  Unfortunately, the writings been on the wall - they need to pass the torch and re-innovate.  

The company has seen significant stock drop and profit loss. Why?  
First, the most obvious, handsets.  RIM continues to lose marketshare to Apple and Android. They put too much stock into the phone serving as a fast, reliable, email device and less about it as a mini computer.  Handsets quickly became eclipsed.

Also, we recall, they were late to the tablet game and failed to dazzle the consumer with the BlackBerry Playbook.  Its main functionalities, as basic as email were weak. In all fairness, no electronic manufacturer has touched a sliver of iPad sales, but when you start seeing buy two get one free tablets, it’s a bad sign - this isn’t a Ketchup sale at the local Stop and Shop.

Third - outages.  Recall back in October, RIM suffered one of the worst global outages that lasted days - and they only offered consumers a $100 premium app package.

Last - failure to keep up.  The promise of three new handsets on the new BlackBerry operating system  is now down to one model and its way late to market, likely mid 2012.  Is BlackBerry banking all their marbles on one phone?  If so, it better be magical, literally.

Is there a chance that BlackBerry could sell some of its services or be bought?
There have been a lot of rumors on the sale of RIM - some even rumored with Amazon, Microsoft and Nokia (in a joint offer). True or false, no deal was ever made.  Many speculate that the once co-CEOs would have stood in the way of such deal, but either way, it didn’t happen.

COO Thorsten Heins plans to take reigns as CEO.  RIM director Barbara Stymiest is set to take over as Chairman of the Board.

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