Jaguar Gets Support for RIM Management Changes; BlackBerry Outage Hits North America
October 12, 2011 12:51 PM
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Jaguar is calling for a new RIM CEO to replace Lazaridis and Balsillie, and wants RIM to break up into separate public companies or be put up for sale as a whole
Just last month,
were suggested in regards to the sale of RIM's intellectual propoerty as well as an executive shake-up. Now, Canadian merchant bank Jaguar Financial Corp. is pushing Research In Motion (RIM) to make some hefty changes in the way of a new chief executive and putting the company up for sale as a whole or in parts -- and its ideas are gaining support.
RIM, maker of BlackBerry, is currently run by President and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis and co-CEO Jim Balsillie. The company has had a hard time keeping up with competitors like Apple, Google, Microsoft, HTC and Samsung when it comes to mobile devices and mobile operating systems because of its slow response to a constantly-changing market. Its stock hit a "52-week low" of $19.29 on October 4 after hitting a high of $70.54 in February.
In addition, lukewarm reception to the
bleak quarterly results
, and business' decision to escape RIM's proprietary BlackBerry email service have not helped RIM in this matter.
For the above-mentioned reasons, Jaguar, which has acquired more shares of RIM since the stock price began to drop, is now calling for a new RIM CEO to replace Lazaridis and Balsillie. It also wants RIM to break up into separate public companies or be put up for sale as a whole.
According to Jaguar, a minimum of 8 percent of stockholders agree with its ideas and are calling for a company shake-up as well.
"Everybody is in support of a sale of RIM or another value creative transaction...like splitting the company into separate public companies -- a network company, a device company and a patents company," said Vic Alboini, Jaguar chief executive. "It's time for RIM to bring in a transformational leader and a respected independent chairman."
But Lazaridis and Balsillie will likely not take this sitting down. Between the two, Lazaridis and Balsillie hold over 10 percent of the stock and have a crucial role in the company's decision-making as chairman of the board.
Jaguar said it has spoken to 20 of the larger institutional holders so far out of 1,000 stockholders, but plans to continue speaking to more.
"We haven't adopted a call-center approach," said Alboini. "It has been very highly targeted, but now that we've got the response, you know we are going to go out and see how many more we can get."
According to Alboini, Jaguar can call a shareholders meeting with 8 percent support, which would force RIM's board to listen to its demands.
RIM saidover 90 percent of its voting shares had supported the re-election of directors that includes Lazaridis and Balsillie during the company's annual meeting in July.
In other RIM-related news,
continue to be disrupted in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and now, North America as well. The outage is going on three days now in some areas, and could affect 70 million BlackBerry users outside of North America, according to RBC analysts Mike Abramsky and Paul Treiber.
"The messaging and browser delays...were caused by a core switch
within RIM's infrastructure," said RIM. "As a result, a large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service."
RIM originally said the services were restored Tuesday, but have now said they are still working on the problem and haven't mentioned how long it would take.
The outage, which has now spread to North America as well, could negatively affect RIM competition-wise with the
new iPhone 4S
launching in only two days.
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10/14/2011 2:45:13 PM
I too did not have confidence in RIM just like you... until I tried my Playbook and my new Torch 9860. These two nice gadgets were enough to somewhat raise my confidence in RIM's future.
Stuff they were making before Playbook and BB OS 7 was junk, I agree, but now they are moving in the right direction so I can't honestly say I believe the doom and gloom. I used to but now I'm more careful with all that negativity. Especially after reading a LOT of technically incompetent and illiterate "reviews" of the new RIM products where agenda of the "reviewers" was pretty clear.
I trust Anand the most among all the reviewers I read (ok Peter Bright and John Siracusa are very good but still... Anand is the best) and Anand wrote in his Playbook review that the RIM's browser was the best among all the tablet browsers he tested, the closest to full desktop browsing experience you can get on an ARM tablet. Including Apple's ones. I trusted his review, got myself a Playbook and never got disappointed (probably because I use Gmail and thus never ever needed a standalone mail client... in like 5 years or so, seriously) then I got myself some more BB OS 7 gear and found out that it's actually real nice gear, not the ideal but not the bad horrible slow etc experience it used to be a year ago, when RIM hardware was unbelievably outdated. Not anymore.
Well, this kind of explains why I don't believe into doom and gloom reviews for now. First, I found too many lies and illiteracy in those reviews, people often have absolutely no idea what they are writing about. Second, my own experience with new RIM gadgets also suggests it's too early to write RIM off. The company is changing, moving in the right direction by dropping their old OS and their old horribly underpowered hardware, and replacing them with something totally new and exciting. I'm sure the big investors will wait for the big QNX platform debut before deciding whether to sell RIM or not, they definitely understand all this too. Jaguar can eat shit. Just like Apple investors ate shit in 90's. Shit happens, it's capitalism man.
10/14/2011 5:57:30 PM
I actually just tried a playbook in a local staples an hour ago. It's OK. I like the WebOS ish flickiness of it. Not bad.
Here is the problem. Lets say it comes out on some phones and like WebOS is comparable to Android and iOS. Most independant reviewers like WebOS even better and rate it higher than Android and IOS. So lets say RIM achieves that as a goal. Look what happened to WebOS. Not good things. It has to stand out.
10/15/2011 12:31:53 AM
Hey you didn't notice that WebOS tablet that HP made was molasses slow, this is why consumers were not buying it. I tried it in store on the day it was released and immediately realized it was dead on arrival. Playbook experience in store was head and shoulders above. This explains why WebOS died quick and Playbook survived, albeit not excelled in sales because gazillions of Apple biased reviewers rated it down. Well, Anand was not Apple biased and it showed in his Playbook review but how many real smart reviewers like Anand do we have? None at all, very very rare.
Anyway, I can't really say that these days any of the smartphones and tablets really "stand out" as you say. They are all very similar, Apple and Android are clones of each other, now MS joined the fun and it's also kind of standing out if you wish by the original UI, but does this standing out help MS to sell a lot of WP7? Not at all. Same with RIM, their QNX may stand out like MS stand out with Metro UI, still MS sees abysmal sales and RIM may too, so standing out does not help. There are other factors besides standing out, like growing markets, customer loyalty, proper retail sales preparation, proper sales incentives and commission for the cellular stores salesmen and many other factors that affect sales. Apple for example has very powerful retail chain and because of that it does not need to stand out. Google probably pays good commission to cellular salesmen and does not have to stand out. MS can leverage maybe integration with Xbox and Windows 8 to avoid the need to stand out, and RIM may just exploit their current loyal customer base and growing market outside of the US to stay afloat without the need to stand out.
I mean if so many companies survive without standing out (that includes Apple because iPhone these days definitely does not stand out at all) I don't see why RIM can't do this. It's not like smartphone market is shrinking so there will be place for RIM too as the market grows. This reason alone I think should be enough to keep RIM alive. If they don't stand out but don't fuck up like they used to with ancient outdated OS and hardware a couple of years ago - they should be okay, not growing wild but kind of profitable enough to keep Jaguar happy. They just need time to get QNX devices out.
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