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RIM finally grabs ahold of its future, dumps its past... sorta

The writing has been on the wall for months, but the co-CEO's of Research in Motion (RIM) are getting the boot. Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have shared power at RIM for over twenty years and oversaw the company's dominance at the start of the smartphone revolution. In their place will be a new, solitary President and CEO: 54-year-old Thorsten Heins.

RIM's new CEO, Thorsten Heins, pictured on the left [Source: Getty Images]
Heins joined RIM in 2007 and was previously the Waterloo, Ontario-based company's Chief Operating Officer. Before landing at RIM, Heins' most prominent role was a Chief Technology Officer for the communications division of Siemens.

I. Rearranging the Deck Chairs?
For those expecting a big change for RIM now that someone new is in the driver’s seat, you’ll likely be disappointed. According to The Globe and Mail, Heins has been groomed by both Balsillie and Lazaridis over the past few years to slide into the role as CEO; so it’s not like the company is getting an injection of fresh blood.
Lazaridis and Balsillie, who both will remain on RIM's board, had kind words for their protégé. “There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognize the need to pass the baton to new leadership,” said Lazaridis. “Jim and I went to the Board and told them that we thought that time was now.”
“I agree this is the right time to pass the baton to new leadership, and I have complete confidence in Thorsten, the management team and the company,” added Balsillie. “I remain a significant shareholder and a Director and, of course, they will have my full support.”

In addition, Heins has no plans to change RIM’s current course when it comes to its product development. “There’s no need for me to shake this company up or turn it upside down,” said Heins. “We are not at a point where we try to define a strategy, that’s done.”
Heins went on to tout RIM’s upcoming PlayBook 2.0 software and the delayed Blackberry 10 operating system. “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.
“RIM earned its reputation by focusing relentlessly on the customer and delivering unique mobile communications solutions. We intend to build on this heritage to expand BlackBerry’s leadership position.”

II. From Prized Jewel to Falling Star 

Blackberry smartphones were the prized possessions of businessmen/businesswomen (and consumers) -- the smartphones were even lovingly referred to as Crackberries.

Former RIM Co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis 

However, the company was not agile enough to stay ahead of the game when new competitors entered the fray; especially once Apple's iPhone hit the market in 2007. What once was a small Chihuahua nipping at the heels of RIM in the beginning turned into a snarling pit bull once the full onslaught of Android-based smartphones started flooding the market.
When it comes to its current U.S. market share, things look bleak for RIM. According to Nielsen, Android smartphones have 46.3 percent of the market, while Apple's iPhone family has 30 percent market share. RIM has fallen from its commanding lead in the sector just a few short years ago to a meager 14.9 percent.

The numbers are even more sobering when you look at a three-month snapshot of smartphone sales. Those number shows that 51.7 recent smartphone acquirers went for Android devices, 37 percent flocked to iPhones, and just 6 percent crawled to RIM's Blackberries.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, RIM, The Globe and Mail

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RE: It's about time
By retrospooty on 1/24/2012 5:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
"14 millions per quarter is not much? Are you drunk? "

That was last quarter, they are projecting lower this quarter, and without a decent OS replacemnt, it will be even lower next quarter. Keep hoping though.

"you don't realize that trackpad on BB is IN ADDITION"

Uh, yes, I know. I see and support Blackberries at work. Most of them come in and users request modern phones like Android and iPhone. The trackpoint is still NOT a feature. Its like selling an iPad with a mouse and calling it unique. LOL. Its old and shows Blackberries age and irrelevance.

"Yeah tell that to Steve Jobs who dumped the price of iPhone form $600 to $200 because "no-one wants it"."

Apple made money on the iPhone... Tons of it. RIM lost $485 mil in ine quarter. Not quite the same thing.

You are hilarious. Only Pirks could spin a $465 million dollar loss on a failed product as good. Truly amazing.

RE: It's about time
By Pirks on 1/24/2012 7:35:11 PM , Rating: 2
without a decent OS replacemnt, it will be even lower next quarter
Who told you there will be no decent OS repalcement? The sales may go up after QNX phone is released, the fact that older OS doesn't sell well anymore is not a reason to bury RIM yet.
Its old and shows Blackberries age and irrelevance
I heard same phrases about single button MacBook trackpad, they also said single button is old and irrelevant etc etc. Funny trolls eh :)
spin a $465 million dollar loss on a failed product as good
I don't see the reason why other companies can sell products below the manufacturing price in order to grab market share quick, and RIM can't. This is normal practice to grab market share. MS and Sony did this with their consoles, RIM also uses the same trick. It's just your double standards at work here.

RE: It's about time
By retrospooty on 1/24/2012 9:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
everything you just said sounds like the iraqi communications minister. We have beaten the infidel americans back to the border. I'm done with your denial for now. Will see you next month at the next quarterly report when rim announces the sales are even lower than expected. Unless of course some additional piece of bad news comes up first for you to deny

RE: It's about time
By Pirks on 1/24/2012 9:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, see ya at the next biased post of Mick where he ignores positive RIM news and emphasizes the negative news again.

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