January 23, 2012

RIM's New CEO Appears Delusional

Jay Yarow, writing for Silicon Alley Insider:

Thorsten Heins run as CEO of RIM is off to a bad start.

RIM’s stock is down 6.7% this morning after Heins introduced himself to the world.

[Heins: -ed.]

  • “We have taken this to totally new heights and that journey isn’t over yet.”
  • “If we continue doing well what we’re doing, I see no problems with us being in the top three players worldwide in the next years in wireless.”
  • “At the very core of RIM is the innovation. We always think ahead. We always think forward. We sometimes think the unthinkable. And that is fantastic.”
  • “We are a great innovative company, but sometimes we innovate too much while we’re building a product.”
  • “What we need to get a bit better at here is to have a little bit more of an ear toward the consumer. I want the strengthen this by bringing really good marketing expertise in.”“

(bullet quotes via Engadget.)

The new CEO’s words don’t bode well for RIM. All five of the above points reveal an executive unwilling to admit how poorly his company has performed and in what regard it has failed in the market, and unable to identify what the company needs to do in order to survive. RIM has squandered more market share than any mobile company other than Nokia.

The only thing keeping RIM afloat is legacy customers, and those are dwindling. They won’t stem their losses if Heins’ words are any indication.

Heins sees RIM reaching great heights, but that hasn’t been the case since June 20, 2008. He sees blue skies for even higher performance, yet RIM has already indicated that their next generation products won’t come to market until late this year, well after the next iPhone, iPad and several new Android devices. He says they’re actually too detail-oriented while innovating in the mobile device space, yet they haven’t delivered innovative improvements to their core product line in years. Worst of all, he claims that all they need to change is to listen to their customers ”a bit more” and hire better marketers. Holy crap.

None of his first four claims are true. The last claim advocates a desperate act to sell out-of-date technology to new customers until the company can get new phones into the market. It will be too late by then. It’s too late right now.