Heins: “We Do Not Believe RIM is a Company at the End”

by Jordan Richardson on July 4, 2012

Research In Motion may be reaching catastrophic levels, but CEO Thorsten Heins is not about to go quietly into the cold, dark night. He’s taken to The Globe and Mail and CBC Radio’s Metro Morning to maintain that RIM is undergoing a laborious strategic transition that is “painful” but ultimately necessary.

“Don’t count BlackBerry out,” begins Heins in his Globe and Mail piece. The relatively extensive article from the CEO and president of RIM suggests that it has become “fashionable” to count his company out. He suggests that the analysts are wrong and that the Waterloo corporation is instead “a company at the beginning of a transition that (we expect) will once again change the way people communicate.”

Heins alludes to the terrible financial results, the news that RIM will be operating at a loss for the first time in its existence as a company, the layoffs, and the delay of BlackBerry 10 – again – but he appears to spin it as part of the larger transition and as a sort of necessary evil to ensure that the next incarnation of RIM products is as good as humanly possible.

“We are working diligently on BlackBerry 10 in order to provide a compelling experience for our loyal enterprise customers and consumers. While we are in a very competitive and constantly changing market, customers benefit from this competition and continued innovation,” writes Heins.

As the article goes on, Heins takes the opportunity to boast about RIM’s accomplishments and about the fact that “RIM has no debt.” He writes of having more than $2 billion in cash on the balance sheet and having “generated $710 million in operating cash flow in the first quarter.”

Heins rails against media types who “have never made the drive to Waterloo,” going on about how developers around the world are “increasingly excited about the possibilities BlackBerry 10 offers.”

It is, it should be said, a unique spin job aimed at boosting morale and rallying the troops. It represents an apt but sure disconnect with some of RIM’s inflexible realities. The downturn in market share, the job losses, the product delays, the plunging stock prices, and the operating losses are not unheeded, but they are tempered pointedly.

The piece seems to echo Heins’ words after he took over the company from Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. He was defiant then; he’s defiant now.

But Heins isn’t fooling anyone. RIM is a company in trouble; it is in a “death spiral” and it will take more than another postponed product launch and some “exciting” apps to turn things around.

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

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

minzhu July 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm

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.

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