It seems like everyday RIM is in the news and not in a good way. Once again, this bit of bad news focuses on current RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins, who unlike his predecessors, has been very vocal to the media. It seems that Heins may have said to much, or more accurately, he said something that could be construed as misleading.
You see, when you’re the CEO of a publicly traded company who’s been reeling after months of declining profits and marketshare, losses in the millions, over 17% loss of stock value in one quarter and your only “supposed” saving grace is delayed until next year, that’s not good and when you state that the company, as it is right now, is fine, that can be taken as a lie, regardless of what Mr. Heins has seen of BlackBerry 10. The fact of the matter is that RIM may not make it to next year to even release BlackBerry 10 and even if they do, there is no sure fire guarantee that it will even be accepted by the public. I think the world, especially the tech sector, understands that while Heins can’t come out and publicly admit the company is in the shitter, coming out and over exaggerating the companies status is not good either.
Things are getting serious for Heins, as the New York Times has taken it upon themselves to speak with several securities law experts and even some investors (a great read, showing how Heins said repeatedly, that BB10 would be released this year), all of which said that these statements could potentially set themselves up for several lawsuits from investors. The NYT’s even quoted Jean-Louis Gassée, who was formally Apple’s President of the Products Division, and is now a venture capitalist, who said:
“They’re going to get sued and they should get sued because I think a closer look at the record is likely to unearth knowing and willful misrepresentation. When the CEO says there’s nothing wrong with the company as it is, it’s not cautious, it doesn’t make sense.”
We’ll have to sit back and wait to see who files suit first, but don’t be surprised if there aren’t a few of them. I too believe that Heins was lying and last week created an illustration representing my point, which can be seen below.
RIM doesn’t believe it’s misleading their shareholders, “RIM is well aware of its disclosure obligations under applicable securities laws and is committed to providing a high level of transparency, as evidenced by RIM’s decision to issue an interim business update on May 29, 2012, to alert shareholders that it expected to report an operating loss,” the company said.
What do you all think? Is Heins being overly positive to the point where he’s lying or do you believe that RIM is fine and nothing shady is going on?