Okay, so my title may be a little presumptuous, but I couldn’t help it, especially when you see who they brought on board. RIM has decided to bring on two executives, Kristian Tear, who was previously the Executive Vice President over at Sony Mobile Communications. Not to much is known about Tear, but seeing how he is going to be put in charge of operations at RIM, it would be have been a better pickup had he actually come from a major Android player. Currently, Sony ranks below Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and LG when it comes to Android. Sony’s been purging cash left and right in order to keep up and so far, hasn’t made a dent.
As for the marketing officer, RIM has selected Frank Boulben, who was the previous Executive Vice President of Strategy for Lightsquared, you know the company that couldn’t get off the ground to launch their 4G network and was dumped by Sprint. I have a hard time understanding RIM’s decision to hire a strategy executive who couldn’t get their previous company noticed and failed at all attempts for success.
We now know that RIM is the company responsible for the whole “Wake Up” campaign against Apple in Australia. What we don’t know, is if Boulben had any input. Because let’s face it, the whole Wake Up flash mob was probably the most tasteless and stupid campaigns a company has tried to lure customers away from a competitor. Essentially, RIM is telling Apple customer’s their stupid for “following the Apple / iPhone” and need to wake up. Nice job RIM, insult the customers you want to lure away. Secondly, why would fans of the iPhone leave Apple for RIM’s Blackberry…BB10 isn’t ready and won’t be ready for months. Apple has amazing customer service and support, their phones are made of high quality materials, they have an unbeatable selection of apps and accessories, 9 times out 10, apps are made for the iPhone first, so why would anyone “wake up” to buy a device/OS that’s not ready, not proven, has a very small user base, a small selection of apps and the company who makes it devotes its attention to enterprise and fails to acknowledge what “real” customers want?
If by hiring a “VP of Strategy” from a company who’s failed to succeed and an operations executive from a company that is damn near the bottom of all Android OEM’s is their game plan, then RIM is in more trouble then they are letting on.
If you care about more details, feel free to read more directly from RIM.
Am I being biased, maybe a little. Am I being harsh, absolutely. When I first heard that the previous co-CEO’s had stepped down, I was elated. They’ve always been the biggest reason I couldn’t stand RIM. They stood in the way of innovation. But when I saw RIM had simply promoted a man from inside, who was basically hand picked by the two exiting CEO’s, I threw my hands up and just said “F” it. Apparently RIM’s board of directors doesn’t care, if they did, why elect someone to lead the company whose plan is to follow the footstep of those before him. The same footsteps that have put the company in a crap hole. If RIM’s directors truly wanted to succeed, they need someone from the outside, someone who can think outside of the Waterloo box. Stop the bleeding that is QNX and BB10 development, adopt Android and combine it with their impressive hardware and quality keyboards. Incorporate their BBM, making it free for their devices and adding it to the Google Play store and Apple App Store for $1.99, thus creating another source of income, yet at the same time, tying other devices to the BlackBerry brand. It’s time to admit their days as an OS maker are done, move on and create quality hardware and adopt a new OS that’s proven, reliable and has a strong ecosystem behind it. I don’t have a degree in business, nor have I ever been a CEO (according to Yahoo, that’s okay), but I see what customer’s want and where the market is going. It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. If RIM thinks they are just going to start over with a new OS with no problems, they just need to ask Microsoft how that’s going. MS had the once dominate Windows Mobile OS, yet their Windows Phone OS is struggling, despite the fact it’s a great operating system. RIM is ditching their famous keyboards altogether for launch, which is a mistake, they need to have a touchscreen and keyboard at launch if they want BBM to get traction. There’s no easy or polite way to say this, but Thorsten Heins is a thorn in RIM’s side and he needs to be removed, while their at it, the boards needs to remove Lazaridis from the board as well. As long as he’s there, his mentality and ideology will remain like a poison, slowly killing the company.
I may be really hard on RIM, I may sound like a hater and wish they’d just go under, but it’s only because they “used” to be great and relevant, but they’ve failed to stay relevant and have since fallen to the sidelines and have become a joke, a facade of their former selves. I’d love nothing more than to see a new and improved RIM, but until they removed the old dogs and think outside the box, that just won’t happen.