RIM CEO: Substantial Changes Needed at BlackBerry Maker

Things are looking ever grimmer at the sinking ship that is RIM. During its quarterly shareholders report, the company announced that its profits had plummeted 19 percent from Q3 to Q4, or 25 percent for the year.

The news follows long-time co-CEO Jim Balsillie stepping down from his position on RIM’s board earlier today. In addition to Balsillie, RIM’s Software CTO David Yach and COO of Global Operations, Jim Rowan, also announced they will be leaving the company.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins painted a dour picture of RIM’s future during the call saying, “It is very clear to me that substantial change is what RIM needs.” Heins said the company needs to refocus its efforts in the enterprise and address the growing bring your own device to work movement. The key to turning RIM around, Heins said, relied on four steps, the launch of BlackBerry 10, leveraging the BlackBerry platform, improving operational efficiency and performing an organizational re-alignment.

According to Heins, BlackBerry moved 11 million smartphones during the last quarter, a drop of 3 million units compared to Q3. U.S. sales alone fell three percent. Heins also indicated that RIM managed to move 500,000 BlackBerry PlayBooks during Q4, a drastic improvement of the previous quarter’s 150,000 shipments.

Heins blamed much of the company’s losses on its inability to move its BlackBerry 7 smartphones, and suggested that the launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system, and accompanying devices, will have to go a long way in righting RIM’s ship.

In light of RIM’s current situation, Heins said the company will perform a strategic review of all operations and would consider entering into partnerships or joint venture licensing opportunities to better leverage RIM’s assets.

Much of RIM’s difficulties can be traced to the strength of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system, which now dominate the smartphone market. Further compounding the company’s problems is the lack of interest in its PlayBook tablet. Despite improved sales over the last quarter, the company still only managed to ship 1.3 million PlayBooks in the past year.

Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
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  1. minzhu Says:

    Don’t blame CEO, they want RIM win.

    RIM has strange culture and self distruct political environment.

    In RIM if a new hired person figure out major problem and introduce efficient approach, both manager and his buddy group member will proof their wrong approach works. just like someone point out driving a car is right way, pushing a car is wrong way, then both manager and his buddy group member will hate you, and proof that 3 person can also move the car by pushing it. cheating email will be sent to some vice president, saying like: see, the car moving, pushing a car is a natural part of the process, in order to deny new hired contribution of introducing skill of drive a car, they have to deny merit of driving a car.

    It is very strange company culture and strange company political environment, it promote stealing and cheating skill. RIM’s management may be a typical instance in MBA course.

    This culture deny or steal hardworking team members’ contribution/innovation, generate strange political environment, destroy RIM.

    So don’t blame CEO, some of their VPs and VPs’ expert generate terrible culture and self destruct political environment.

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