Heins Addresses RIM Employees: “We Have to Get Through This”

by Jordan Richardson on January 30, 2012

Research In Motion’s new chief executive officer Thorsten Heins went in front of some 17,000 employees on Friday in a broadcast discussion that attempted to set the tone for the road ahead. Heins certainly has his work cut out for him and will have an uphill climb with regard to getting things back on track at RIM (if that can even be done).

Heins wasted little time, discussing the challenges ahead as well as his priorities going forward.

There’s no question that RIM is at perhaps the most problematic period in its history. Its failure would be catastrophic for Canada’s already-stumbling technology sector, one marred by sell-offs and sell-outs over the past years. With RIM experiencing massive market value loss and device issues, there’s no time like the present to rally the troops.

“When we started this strategy of going global, we knew we had to throw basically most of our resources into the global play, which we did, and look at the success,” Heins said, describing the company’s fortunes outside of the United States markets. “But we had to do this a little bit at the expense of being very, very strong in the number one competitive market of the world, which is the U.S. market. This was a conscious decision that we took. Now we have to get through this.”

Heins also took some time for questions, answering some that were emailed in.

He tackled rumours that the company was in talks to sell, squashing the notions that Samsung was in talks to buy RIM.

“Simply, simply no,” Heins said. “It’s a fantastic growth and profit story. There’s no reason to go and sell the company. You guys are fantastic. We have a fantastic brain base and intellectual base. We have fantastic board members supporting us, and also into the future. Why should we do this? We are going to do this ourselves.”

To what will probably be the dismay of some fidgety investors, Heins thanked Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis and implied that the two would continue to be a part of the process of innovation at RIM.

“One of the issues we really need to tackle in the future is not the innovation – that will be always covered as long as Mike and Jim are on the board and help us with strategic advice and counsel, and Mike will run the new innovation committee on the board,” Heins said.

The meeting lasted roughly and hour and seemed to go over well with most of the employees. The markets could react in a different way, of course, with Heins ever having said too much or, once again, having said far too little.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSSTwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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