One of the most highlighted headlines to hit the mobile hemisphere this new year is the appointment of Thorsten Heins as RIM’s new CEO, replacing the long-time and famous duo of Jim Basillie and Mike Lazardis. The former COO of the Canadian company is obviously affiniated with the dynamics of the company, but can he finally align those with market dynamics and propel RIM to where it needs to be?
Blackberry Generation Recruit
Heins was brought onboard 4 years ago, at a time when the smartphone race hadn’t heated up as it is now, and Blackberry sales were on a roll. However, in a mobile terrain that now places more stress on third-party content, and the casual consumer plays a greater role than enterprise, the gentleman has got quite some navigation to do. According to the German CEO, RIM will not undergo a “drastic change,” but the company needs revamping on the operational discipline front in order “to get better.” During the first conference call on Monday, the 23rd, Heins’ core focus lay on launching smartphones based on the Blackberry 10, and gear up marketing alongside.
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Competitors, competitors….and more competitors. While the new CEO pledges to “ to do everything possible to exceed the expectations of all of the company’s shareholders,”, and yes, having one CEO with in-depth insights helps, the key challenge lies in forwarding the value proposition. If RIM can now make the same marketing impact amidst the consumer segment, that parallels the marketing of what it did with the original Blackberry and the business world, we should be able to see some momentum. The onus, again, has been placed on the QNX operating system.
“Eighteen months ago Mike and Jim took a bold step when we had to make a major decision around our future platform, and they purchased QNX to shepherd the transformation of the BlackBerry platform for the next decade,” Heins said. “Right now, with PlayBook 2.0 coming out in February, we are more confidant than ever that this was the right path to go.” Is it so? Time will tell, but the problem is time seems to be running out for the giant.