05-01-11 09:15 AM
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  1. rollingrock1988's Avatar
    Recently, there has been a lot of discussion here on the leadership of RIM and how the co-CEO system is not leading to the success of the company.

    No matter where you stand, doom and gloom or eventual market takeover, do you think that the leaders of RIM will be shaken up? Do you think they should put new people in charge?

    Personally, I have a lot of respect for both of the CEOs, however, I see there public speaking skills are on the decline and they aren't really helping the image of RIM. I understand that good products should speak for themselves but that is in an idealistic world. Their PR team is not doing a very good job of trying to stabilize RIM's communication with it's public- both corporate and consumer (those lines are blurring obviously.)

    Would shifting a new CEO (ditching the co-CEO strategy) help the company change it's public identity?
    04-29-11 12:03 PM
  2. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    It appears that this is being considered.

    In an open letter to RIM management, Northern Securities analyst Sameet Kanade said the company should consider ditching its co-chief executive management structure and look into adopting Google Inc.s Android software on some of its consumer devices.

    The co-CEO structure has not worked at SAP and it is apparent that this dual structure is not working at RIM, Mr. Kanade said in a note to clients.

    Until CQ1-10, we believe investors had largely ignored this key shortcoming given the tremendous success achieved by RIM. However, the LTM period has demonstrated that RIM is lagging in several key areas and we believe this may be a result of the Co-CEO structure. We contend that a change in management structure is required, and believe the vote is clearly in favor of Mr. Mihalis Mike Lazaridis, who is the technical brains behind the company.
    Source: RIM shares plunge amid analyst downgrades | FP Tech Desk | Financial Post
    04-29-11 12:12 PM
  3. T
    "Will there be a management shakeup at RIM?"

    Do you mean because iphones and androids are "so much cooler"?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-29-11 12:23 PM
  4. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    "Will there be a management shakeup at RIM?"

    Do you mean because iphones and androids are "so much cooler"?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    No, it has nothing to do with what devices are perceived as being "cool". If it happens, it will be because stockholders want more return on their investments.
    04-29-11 12:26 PM
  5. T
    Well, you did mention PR and the "image" of RIM ...

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-29-11 12:30 PM
  6. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Well, you did mention PR and the "image" of RIM ...

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    No I didn't. The OP did.

    I quoted an analyst's comments. The analyst feels that Mr. Lazaridis would be better as sole CEO, since he is "the technical brains behind the company".
    Last edited by lak611; 04-29-11 at 12:34 PM.
    04-29-11 12:32 PM
  7. T
    No I didn't. The OP did.

    I quoted an analyst's comments. The analyst feels that Mr. Lazaridis would be better as sole CEO, since he is "the technical brains behind the company".
    Sorry. My bad. Despite your effort to answer the op by (in good faith) providing an analysts opinion, his topic doesn't offer much of any substance and merely makes reference to PR and "image." Just another bs topic.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-29-11 12:45 PM
  8. BBMINI's Avatar
    Personally, I have a lot of respect for both of the CEOs, however, I see there public speaking skills are on the decline and they aren't really helping the image of RIM. I understand that good products should speak for themselves but that is in an idealistic world. Their PR team is not doing a very good job of trying to stabilize RIM's communication with it's public- both corporate and consumer (those lines are blurring obviously.)
    I wouldn't be surprised at all if there were a shakeup, even if it were mostly just to give a message that RIM is doing something to respond to the growing market perceptions.

    Honestly, I'm surprised they've lasted this long AND been allowed to remain the public faces of the company since often a person who starts a tech company might be a great "idea guy" but might not have the best interpersonal or PR skills (Zuckerberg, anyone??) They might be brilliant people, and typically are, but most of them are also smart enough to admit their own weaknesses and hire someone (or a team of people) who has the right skills for doing the marketing, the PR, the glad-handing and the interviews.

    Then again, ego can be a very powerful force, so when a Founding CEO is convinced that nobody could represent his "baby" as well as he can (even if the baby is a multibillion dollar global tech company), the challenges, shortcomings, industry perception issues and internal morale problems sometimes begin to snowball . . . often very quickly and after it's too late for the CEO to do much about by hiring a marketing team. At that point it can do wonders for the company if the CEO(s) either steps aside, or publicly admits it's time for someone else to run the show, or is forced out by shareholders who have seen the value of their company collapse during his reign.

    Also keep in mind that Founding CEOs who have had tremendous historical success can sometimes become so self-assured and egotistical that it's literally impossible for them to admit fault or that anything could be wrong with their product, their company or their leadership. To them it's everyone else who's wrong -- the analysts, the industry participants, even the end user customers! So then when challenging questions are asked during interviews, or negative articles are written about them and their company, their feelings are hurt and egos bruised and their curt answers and ridiculous reactions certainly don't do the company any favors in terms of trying to right the ship and get the company back on track. Then a spiral begins that can be very hard to break until the CEO is gone.

    To me, it'll be fascinating to see what happens.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    04-29-11 01:17 PM
  9. Setanta's Avatar
    I think that the co-CEO's have too much invested in Rim on a personal level. RIM is their baby. They have nurtured it and helped it grow from infancy all the way back to the day in Atlanta when they convinced BellSouth to take a chance with them. However, it might be time for them to make a move up to the boardroom and get in a strong CEO who can see them through what I hope is just a rough patch. It happened at Google and now one of the founders has come back to the CEO position from the boardroom.

    It might be bad for consumers here in the western hemisphere, as the growth areas where the most profit is to be had is in emerging markets in the near- and far-east. They don't want the flashiest latest 4g, lte devices because they don't yet have the infrastructure to handle them. A CEO's job is to increase the wealth of shareholders. The easiest way to do that is increase share value and profits. At the moment, RIM's easiest avenue for that is in these developing markets.

    Regarding the PR department, I feel like the shake-up in March will see a new head of marketing and PR at the company. It will take a little time for them to settle in and assemble their team, not to mention try to understand what their mission will be from the CEO/co-CEO. Nobody in the tech community has as well oiled a marketing machine as the folks in Cupertino. Although RIM's devices can stand alone and, in some cases beat the competition, the general consumer doesn't know. Now, in the corporate world, it's a different story. RIM's security is unparallelled. CIO's and CSO's would love to have nothing but Blackberry's rolled out, but the other departments want i-devices or Android devices so that they can be, as Tnis said, "cool".

    The bottom line for me I guess is that RIM are at a fork in the road. On one side is the broader, more fickle consumer market, and on the other is the business user. RIM has conquered the business user market, but with the emergence of Android, the consumer market has become extremely competitive and expensive to operate in. Going forward, RIM will have to go choose how much they're willing to spend on each avenue.

    Disclosure: I own RIM, GOOG and AAPL
    04-29-11 01:25 PM
  10. 1812dave's Avatar
    whew! RIMM tanked today-down nearly 14%.
    04-29-11 01:53 PM
  11. rollingrock1988's Avatar
    "Will there be a management shakeup at RIM?"

    Do you mean because iphones and androids are "so much cooler"?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com

    Clearly you don't understand what PR is. Since I'm in the industry I'll dumb it down for you.

    Mike Lazardis and Jim Balsille are the main connection between investors and consumers. Both of them have terrible speaking skills and have yet to communicate to their publics (read as: their customers) where they are going. They themselves have said that there is confusion within the company between QNX and 6.1 teams- which was posted on this site. This doesn't give investors confidence in the company and couple that with the fact that there is the lag time between devices and their recent announcement in their quarterly outlook, you have a problem. One could also say that consumer confidence is down. Even loyal users on this forum are beginning to question their tactics.

    If you remember, Lazardis had a meltdown on BBC and in another interview at a conference in 2010. In the conference in 2010 it was very apparent that he was backed in a corner and could not effectively communicate the direction that RIM is taking. Neither of these instances have sat well with people. Not all people are upset about it, but there is concern from some people.

    PR is Public Relations. The media is having a field day with them and their lack of effective communications skills. PR really has nothing to do with "cool" devices. That's called advertising. Two different things, though they are connected in some ways. That's a lesson for another day.

    Now- This is not a DOOM and GLOOM post. If you look at my post history I am a RIM supporter. But something has to change. They need to improve their image with the public. Granted- the new QNX devices may do so, but RIM and Blackberry are a brand and a tarnished brand image is a hard hole to dig yourself out of.
    Brazen9000 likes this.
    04-29-11 02:04 PM
  12. DaedalusIcarusHelios's Avatar
    It seems analysts never know what they are talking about, and talk of switching to Android is short-sited nonsense that will not benefit RIM whatsoever. I think acquiring QNX and using that as the foundation of their new OS strategy is much smarter, and will provide a better product in the end. I'm quite excited about RIM's future.

    They have recognized that development inefficiencies exist in the company and are working on improving that, as has been stated. With the infusion of new talent and technology from the many acquisitions, they are on the right track.

    The main issues are with marketing the product. I like the aesthetics of RIM's devices and their UI on those devices and their site, but the public perception (at least among people that frequent tech blogs/sites at least) is a negative one. I think the new products will go a long way toward improving the image, but they really need a spokesperson or something that can wow the masses and really promote the platform. I'm not sure if the new head of PR can fill that or not, but I'm guessing that the reason the current one is leaving is because they realized they need a change.
    04-29-11 02:08 PM
  13. rollingrock1988's Avatar
    Sorry. My bad. Despite your effort to answer the op by (in good faith) providing an analysts opinion, his topic doesn't offer much of any substance and merely makes reference to PR and "image." Just another bs topic.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Once again you are incorrect. It isn't an "analysts opinion." It's my observation and something that has been mentioned on this forum before. Coming from this industry, which you most definitely are not apart of, they do have a brand image and communication problem. This is not new information and your comments on whether this post has substance or not are irrelevant considering your lack of understanding on the original subject.
    Last edited by RollingRock1988; 04-29-11 at 02:18 PM.
    04-29-11 02:09 PM
  14. Daniel Ratcliffe's Avatar
    Sack Balsille, Sack Lazidaris, sack the CMO. Get everyone representing the image of the company replaced. Get a new spokesperson, someone with a ridiculous amount of passion such that you can see said passion flowing through their veins (I'd love to do a trial run for them! I love my BlackBerry and I'd love to talk up these devices, just don't let my passion tire you out )
    trsbbs likes this.
    04-29-11 02:13 PM
  15. lnichols's Avatar
    I think the current setup is not working for RIM. They've been slow and/or stubborn to respond to current smart phone trends that Apple and Google have shown are what a large portion of the smart phone market wants. From recent reports it seems like Management is not keeping the company on track and focused, and RIM said this about OS6.1, now OS7 delays:

    One of the key reasons OS 6.1 is falling behind schedule is miscommunication between teams in the critical path of the project
    That is not the "teams" fault, it is a failure of management. Not saying that is a failure of Mike or Jim directly, but there people are in the positions they want them in, so in the end they are responsible.

    Now that they are down 14% for today because of revised guidance for the quarter, and they are down overall for a while because the investment community thinks they are falling behind, I'm thinking that investors will demand someone's head, so either Jim or Mike will have to go as a sacrifice, and it could end up being both (but I think only one will go).

    This is all just my opinion.
    04-29-11 02:17 PM
  16. 1812dave's Avatar
    I think the current setup is not working for RIM. They've been slow and/or stubborn to respond to current smart phone trends that Apple and Google have shown are what a large portion of the smart phone market wants. From recent reports it seems like Management is not keeping the company on track and focused, and RIM said this about OS6.1, now OS7 delays:



    That is not the "teams" fault, it is a failure of management. Not saying that is a failure of Mike or Jim directly, but there people are in the positions they want them in, so in the end they are responsible.

    Now that they are down 14% for today because of revised guidance for the quarter, and they are down overall for a while because the investment community thinks they are falling behind, I'm thinking that investors will demand someone's head, so either Jim or Mike will have to go as a sacrifice, and it could end up being both (but I think only one will go).

    This is all just my opinion.
    I'd prefer to see them both go, but if only one went, IMHO it REALLY, REALLY needs to be ML. He isn't up to the task of properly managing such a company. He is not an effective communicator and loses his cool to easily. ****, he can't even do a proper demo--I still remember that goofy demo he did of the PB when he kept getting in the way of the cameraman. He must have skipped some of his business classes...
    trsbbs likes this.
    04-29-11 02:20 PM
  17. BBMINI's Avatar
    He isn't up to the task of properly managing such a company. He is not an effective communicator and loses his cool to easily. He must have skipped some of his business classes...
    This is another excellent point related to "idea guys" becoming CEOs -- many of them are megasmart folks who had an excellent idea that exploded into enormous success, but it sureashell doesn't automatically mean they'll also be good at running and managing a huge (or even very small) company. That's why many, many companies reach a certain size and bring in professional managers who are definitely "up to the task" since they're trained for it and they've done it before at other companies. Unfortunately, like I mentioned previously, ego often comes into play and the Founding CEO simply can't/won't see or admit that someone else could possibly be better at running and managing the company than he. The smart Founders, though, realize their talent is in the Ideas and Course Setting functions, and they promote themselves to Chief Idea Officer (or whatever goofball title they want to make up) so they can focus on thinking about cutting-edge ideas and the future of their company/industry while turning over the everyday stuff to someone else who's better at it anyway. When this happens it really helps the chances of the company staying ahead of the curve and setting the pace for the rest of the industry and its competitors. Obviously, this is not what's happening at RIM.
    04-29-11 02:47 PM
  18. avt123's Avatar
    I think they should both be replaced. They should sit on the board and let a fresh CEO come in. RIM is a great company and I would love for them to succeed even further. The more competition the better.
    trsbbs likes this.
    04-29-11 02:56 PM
  19. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    There is a good article here. 4 Improvements RIM Can Make to Stop Sucking | PCWorld

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-29-11 03:19 PM
  20. Reed McLay's Avatar
    Some of us will remember, John Sculley was CEO of Pepsico before he was hired CEO of Apple Computer. He replace the existing technicaly talented Jobs and Woz as leader of the company.

    Some of us feel he dumped Apple Computer into the toilet and it was Steve Jobs that came to the rescue.... iPod.

    IMHO, the job of executive presenter should go to Dan Dodge, head qeek at QNX.

    Executive Profiles
    04-29-11 03:38 PM
  21. 1812dave's Avatar
    There is a good article here. 4 Improvements RIM Can Make to Stop Sucking | PCWorld

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    While it's not a comprehensive list, it's a start.
    04-29-11 03:44 PM
  22. rollingrock1988's Avatar
    I just read that financial post article with the open letter and adopting android is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
    04-29-11 03:58 PM
  23. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I just read that financial post article with the open letter and adopting android is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
    I don't necessrily agree with adopting Android. However, users want apps. How does RIM attract developers to build apps, when the developers feel they can make more money on iOS and Android apps? Even Microsoft is having a hard time attracting developers for Win7 phone apps.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    04-29-11 04:24 PM
  24. chuckh0308's Avatar
    I just read that financial post article with the open letter and adopting android is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
    I agree, and I'm a current satisfied Android user. RIM needs to stick to their own OS and maintain brand identity. Going Android (especially on just some of their devices) would further hurt their image, confuse customers, and throw them out there with an already overloaded sea of other Android devices. However, I think they need to (awhile ago really) just stop wasting resources trying to polish the old and crusty OS and put all their efforts into QNX.
    trsbbs likes this.
    04-29-11 04:26 PM
  25. Masahiro's Avatar
    I don't necessrily agree with adopting Android. However, users want apps. How does RIM attract developers to build apps, when the developers feel they can make more money on iOS and Android apps? Even Microsoft is having a hard time attracting developers for Win7 phone apps.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Developers should be able to port over their Android apps to the QNX OS sometime soon.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Last edited by Masahiro; 04-29-11 at 04:49 PM.
    04-29-11 04:44 PM
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