This is a guest post by Jane Andrew.
The Canadian company RIM (Research in Motion), makers of the BlackBerry has had to shuffle its leadership again. The move comes as the noise regarding the BlackBerry slide continues to echo in the mobile world. After what has been a year of crisis, as reflected by the not-so-promising fourth quarter results, the stir up might create hope that things would finally get back on track. On the flipside, for the doubters it could further give cause to increase their skepticism.
Heins Has His Work Cut Out
The multinational telecommunications company from Waterloo, Ontario, sprung a massive surprise when it announced the resignation of its co-CEO Jim Balsillie, who went onto become the president of board of directors, along with Mike Lazaridis. Now that Jim Basillie, along with two other high-level executives are parting ways from RIM, new CEO Thosten Heins has his work cut out in trying to reassure the BlackBerry fans that RIM has something long-term and indeed something groundbreaking up its sleeves.
Heins is clear about the fact that the company will begin a comprehensive review of its strategy, which could include partnerships or patent sales, to ensure that shareholder value is maximized. He also threw a spanner into the works during a recent press conference by suggesting that the management might “consider” a possible takeover offer as well.
The share value of the Canadian company has shrunk by 80 percent during the last year or so – for a market capitalization of $7 billion. This makes the situation at RIM particularly vulnerable indeed. And despite having had nearly 10 weeks to ponder over different solutions to the current problem, Heins is aware that such a major shakeup in the leadership of the company would not be easily to deal with — to say the least.
The financial results of RIM, once the sweetheart of Canadian telecommunications, have done the company – that claims to have 77 million BlackBerry users – absolutely no favors at all. RIM has seen its annual net income reduce to a third of the $3.4 billion posted last year, stuttering at $1.16 billion in 2012. The company’s turnover stands at $4.2 billion, which is down 23 percent year-over-year, with sales of 11.1 million BlackBerry copies – this again is 21 percent less than the preceding quarter. The numbers do look feeble indeed, and the company would have to think out of the box to reinstate itself as a big time market player.
Recently RIM has suffered due to the delay in Blackberry 10’s launch, which is scheduled to use the new operating system QNX. Another massive failure has been the commercial catastrophe that the PlayBook tablet was. RIM’s launch has lagged behind and arrived late in the market when compared to its competitors and this has led to intensive price-cutting, which mirrors the shambolic sales. In all this gloom it’s the scheduled launch of BlackBerry 10 later in 2012 that would undoubtedly be the defining moment for this new-look RIM leadership. If BlackBerry 10 ends up being another chapter of mediocrity, then the gap between Blackberry and its competitors might become unbridgeable. On the contrary, if BlackBerry 10 proves to be a success, it would announce the return of BlackBerry, with a fresh team at the helm to rejuvenate their company and its products.
Author Bio: Jane Andrew is the author of blackberry spyware and cell phone tracking technology. She provides tips, tricks and news about mobile phone monitoring apps. You can also follow her on Twitter @pcspysoftware to get the latest tips about cell phone technology.
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