Rating: Lazaridis & Balsillie take back seat at Blackberry maker
It was inevitable really. The two former co-CEOs at RIM (which makes the BlackBerry) have stepped back to let Thorsten Heins become CEO. As Lazaridis commented, “There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognise the need to pass the baton to new leadership.” With both revenue and share prices sliding, such a move was necessary to placate the markets’ bean counters. But – unlike many industry pundits – GoMo News hasn’t written off RIM at all. As RIM itself says, “BlackBerry 7 is now out, PlayBook 2.0 shipping in February and BlackBerry 10 expected to ship later this year.” Compare that to what we know is definitely coming from Apple in the near future which is, um, nothing actually.Curiously, the name which most pundits had on their lips to change RIM has actually succeeded in getting a new role while Mr Heins has grabbed the headlines.
Barbara Stymiest, who formerly served as a member of Royal Bank of Canada’s Group Executive, has been named as the independent Board Chair at RIM.
Who is Mr Heins? Well, he joined RIM from Siemens Communications Group back in December 2007.
GoMo News hasn’t forgotten that Siemens used to make some nice mobile phones, too.
Heins declared, “Mike and Jim took a bold step 18 months ago when RIM purchased QNX to shepherd the transformation of the BlackBerry platform for the next decade.”
We think he is right and agree with this observation from Heins, too. “Mike and Jim’s continued unwillingness to sacrifice long-term value for short-term gain has made RIM the great company that it is today.”
Mr. Heins added, “BlackBerry 7 has been well received. We are very excited about PlayBook 2.0 and BlackBerry 10. The reception of our products at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was encouraging.”
On the role of Lazaridis & Balsillie at BlackBerry, Ms Stymiest observed, “They created RIM, nurtured it, and in the process not only built an iconic brand, but literally pioneered the smartphone industry.”
She added, “It is Canada’s largest tech company and one of the largest in the world.”
The million Canadian dollar question is are Stymiest and Heins going to do anything about the culture of media hostility at RIM which has only added to the company’s woes?