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RIM to cut 40% of workforce as another top exec resigns

post #1 of 78
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As ailing Research in Motion prepares to axe nearly 40 percent of its workforce in the coming months, another top-level executive has announced their resignation on Monday as the BlackBerry maker continues to hemorrhage cash.

Canada-based RIM lost its top lawyer on Monday when Chief Legal Officer Karima Bawa announced she would resign, with her departure adding to the rising count of high-level executives leaving the company, reports Reuters.

Bawa's resignation is the second in as many weeks and follows that of Managing Director of Global Sales and Regional Marketing Patrick Spence. In early April, it seemed that Spence would be staying, but the situation at RIM was apparently too dire for him to remain.

A statement from RIM noted that Bawa, who has worked for the company since 2000, would be staying on long enough to hire and transition a suitable replacement.

The Waterloo, Ontario company is expected to cut a massive number of jobs through the year in tandem with launching new handsets built around the next-generation BlackBerry 10 operating system. According to sources familiar with the matter, RIM is looking to bring down its existing global workforce of 16,500 employees to about 10,000 by early next year. The layoffs will affect the company's legal, marketing, sales, operations, and human resources divisions, a source said.

CEO Thorsten Heins, who replaced co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie in January, is looking to salvage what is left of the once dominant smartphone maker and part of that change necessitates the huge layoffs.

RIM
RIM headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario. | Source: The Globe and Mail


RIM stock has plummeted some 75 percent over the past year as its share of the smartphone market dwindles against heavy competition from Apple's iPhone and handsets running Google's Android. According to the latest IDC data, BlackBerry shipments only accounted for 6.4 percent of the global market while Android and iOS took a combined 82 percent, shipping 89.9 million and 35.1 million units, respectively.
post #2 of 78

ErnestHemmingway_ForWhomTheBellTolls.jpg

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #3 of 78
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

ErnestHemmingway_ForWhomTheBellTolls.jpg

I'm sure all the people recently out of a job will appreciate your wonderful post. Companies falling like this is never a good thing and does nothing to make the industry better.

post #4 of 78

Failure is an absolutely natural outcome for any company out there; in fact, the principle of limited corporate life is at the core of any basic economics and/or law course at university level.

 

RIM fell because of mismanagement, lack of innovation and overall lax behavior, where they presumed that their extremely comfortable position in business telephony would continue forever (just like Nokia in the consumer segment).

 

Alas, in a world of (almost) unrestricted competition, it is more than obvious that some shall suffer while others thrive. Remember Apple in the late 90s? I do; absolutely every single media outlet out there proclaimed them dead - only to see the company come back with a vengeance. As for the now-unemployed people, I am sure most of them will be able to find a better job elsewhere (if they are qualified, bien sûr) - maybe not in Canada (a place not widely known for innovation, let's be clear); but most labor markets are global nowadays anyway. 

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post #5 of 78

So were the COCOCEOs keeping the company afloat, or have we not given them enough time?

 

If RIM pulls a rabbit, I will eat my hat.

 

I have a jelly hat. Just in case.

post #6 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

I'm sure all the people recently out of a job will appreciate your wonderful post. Companies falling like this is never a good thing and does nothing to make the industry better.

It's a sad thing to be sure, but the title does seem appropriate. RIM had a fast rise, and now it's undergoing a fast fall. It had a half decade of pretty good fortune in between.
post #7 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post
Companies falling like this is never a good thing and does nothing to make the industry better.

 

Anyone with talent will get a job at a different company, where their talent will actually be realized.

 

Anyone else finds a different job outside the industry.

 

It's a win-win.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #8 of 78

There is a shortage of skilled software developers in Canada right now. Any one with decent skills are being snapped up quickly. My employer has been interviewing for weeks, and all of the good candidates are sitting on a few offers by the time they see us. RIM does have a lot of good talent, I wouldn't be worried about those with useable skills.
 

post #9 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

I'm sure all the people recently out of a job will appreciate your wonderful post. Companies falling like this is never a good thing and does nothing to make the industry better.

Actually companies failing like this are a very good thing. You can't concern yourself with the employees, finding work is their business. Just imagine how much better off the world would be if GM and Chrysler had gone under. We might actually have business in Detroit innovating with respect to transportation. Instead we have the same old corporations invested with bad unions and zero innovation.

Your perspective here is totally screwed, this is exactly what business needs right now. It effectively frees up a great deal of talent that has be squandered by RIM and allows that talent to seed innovation elsewhere. Frankly you need to research your position a bit.
post #10 of 78

Another gleeful rim demise news item...not good for the posters karma...

post #11 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



Your perspective here is totally screwed, this is exactly what business needs right now. It effectively frees up a great deal of talent that has be squandered by RIM and allows that talent to seed innovation elsewhere. Frankly you need to research your position a bit.

lol ok, thanks for your input. Competitors leaving the market is a great thing...can't believe I never saw it before!! Thanks for teaching me :)

post #12 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post

So were the COCOCEOs keeping the company afloat, or have we not given them enough time?

If RIM pulls a rabbit, I will eat my hat.

I have a jelly hat. Just in case.

The proven with "C" level executives is that most of them are just barely competent at that level. It's called the "Peter Principle", where people are promoted one level higher than their level of competence.

When times are good, almost all but the most incompetent can run a company. But when times are bad, that's no longer the case. This is true for most every field.

With RIM, we saw two guys who had flashes of brilliance, but who weren't capable of seeing past what they believed. When something came along that was better, they thought it wasn't possible. Nokia had the same problem. Both companies are in trouble.

The real question now for RIM is whether anything can get them out of this as an independent company functioning in the same business. I don't think it can.
post #13 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post
lol ok, thanks for your input. Competitors leaving the market is a great thing...

 

Here's an existential musing for you: If no one's buying their crap, can they really be considered a competitor?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #14 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

I'm sure all the people recently out of a job will appreciate your wonderful post. Companies falling like this is never a good thing and does nothing to make the industry better.

Wanting companies to linger that are not competitive is what does nothing to make the industry better. Letting things evolve and change naturally as consumer interests change and companies learn to out innovate their competitors is what makes industries better.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #15 of 78
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Actually companies failing like this are a very good thing. You can't concern yourself with the employees, finding work is their business. Just imagine how much better off the world would be if GM and Chrysler had gone under. We might actually have business in Detroit innovating with respect to transportation. Instead we have the same old corporations invested with bad unions and zero innovation.
Your perspective here is totally screwed, this is exactly what business needs right now. It effectively frees up a great deal of talent that has be squandered by RIM and allows that talent to seed innovation elsewhere. Frankly you need to research your position a bit.

The problem is that often when a large iconic business files, nothing rises up to take its place in that same local. There is no guarantee that if RIM fails, as it looks likely, that something else will replace it. Most likely, nothing will.
post #16 of 78
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Here's an existential musing for you: If no one's buying their crap, can they really be considered a competitor?

You forget that Apple nearly went bankrupt as well?

post #17 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Wanting companies to linger that are not competitive is what does nothing to make the industry better. Letting things evolve and change naturally as consumer interests change and companies learn to out innovate their competitors is what makes industries better.

If they had the right management it's possible they can still bring themselves back just like Apple once did.

post #18 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post
You forget that Apple nearly went bankrupt as well?

 

Having what to do with anything? If RIM has some magical man to come swooping back in and save the company from what appears to be certain doom, more power to them. If they can actually create stuff people want to buy after that point, more power to them.

 

As it stands, they'll NEED that miracle.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #19 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

lol ok, thanks for your input. Competitors leaving the market is a great thing...can't believe I never saw it before!! Thanks for teaching me 1smile.gif

It's a bad thing for the local economy. But it's not a bad thing for the industry. So we will have RIM leaving, and possibly Nokia, Sony and Motorola. It seems bad, but we've got new competitors such as Apple, Google, ZTE, Huwai and others that have come in. It's really just the changing of the guard, so to speak.
post #20 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

I'm sure all the people recently out of a job will appreciate your wonderful post. Companies falling like this is never a good thing and does nothing to make the industry better.

Screw them. That's how the business world works. The strong survive and the weak die. And not only is RIM weak, but they are also arrogant and stupid.

 

Amateur hour is truly over.

post #21 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

You forget that Apple nearly went bankrupt as well?

The operant term here is "nearly went bankrupt". If SJ hadn't come back with Next, they MAY have gone bankrupt, but they didn't. Can we point to anyone, and to ant product that will turn this around, given the rapid deterioration of their market? Apple was never in that position.
post #22 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


The operant term here is "nearly went bankrupt". If SJ hadn't come back with Next, they MAY have gone bankrupt, but they didn't. Can we point to anyone, and to ant product that will turn this around, given the rapid deterioration of their market? Apple was never in that position.

Yes nearly went bankrupt and cut thousands of jobs in 1996 just like RIM is doing now. I think it would be a great thing if RIM could reinvent themselves and make a come back. 

 

Although I can't say I liked the Blackberry when my work gave me one but it did do a couple things nicely. Their new OS looks quite decent.

post #23 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

If they had the right management it's possible they can still bring themselves back just like Apple once did.

I doubt it very much. The situations are very different. RIM is rapidly losing sales. Apple's sales had dropped slowly.

But the biggest difference is that the computer industry is more forgiving in that it moved much more slowly. Today, the cell industry is moving very rapidly. By the time the new BB10 phone, the "London" comes out near the end of the year, if it does, it will likely be too late. From the BB trade show recently, it was noted that the new OS and apps were not anywhere near being completed. It's being questioned whether it will be ready this year at all.

With sales faltering, they may not have enough interest left by the time the product comes out, and it will be deficient in apps and in other areas when it does. The fact that they dropped two of the three models is bad. Playbook sales don't seem to have significantly risen either.

They just don't seem to have the time.
post #24 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

Yes nearly went bankrupt and cut thousands of jobs in 1996 just like RIM is doing now. I think it would be a great thing if RIM could reinvent themselves and make a come back. 

Although I can't say I liked the Blackberry when my work gave me one but it did do a couple things nicely. Their new OS looks quite decent.

I guess you will have to read the rest of my posts here, but they don't have the time. Apple had the time.
post #25 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

If they had the right management it's possible they can still bring themselves back just like Apple once did.

What you're talking about is RiM actually innovating, having successful marketing and having management that knows how to get all the pieces working together so they can be competitive again. That's not at all what you stated initially.

I hope they can come back but I see no avenue that will allow them to succeed in the consumer handset business moving forward. Even Nokia and MS have good HW and a mobile OS but even they aren't having much luck. RiM isn't even close to their competency.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #26 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post


I doubt it very much. The situations are very different. RIM is rapidly losing sales. Apple's sales had dropped slowly.
But the biggest difference is that the computer industry is more forgiving in that it moved much more slowly. Today, the cell industry is moving very rapidly. By the time the new BB10 phone, the "London" comes out near the end of the year, if it does, it will likely be too late. From the BB trade shoe recently, it was noted that the new OS and apps were not anywhere near being completed. It's being questioned whether it will be ready this year at all.
With sales faltering, they may not have enough interest left by the time the product comes out, and it will be deficient in apps and in other areas when it does. The fact that they dropped two of the three models is bad. Playbook sales don't seem to have significantly risen either.
They just don't seem to have the time.

You sure? From what I read they had a healthy business with 26.9% market for the first ten months of 1995 then it went bad.

post #27 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I guess you will have to read the rest of my posts here, but they don't have the time. Apple had the time.

And to make the comparison accurate RiM will have to branch out into a new market with a new product that they can slowly build off of whilst slowly rebuilding their handset market, much like the way Apple did with the iPod. I don't see any opportunity for that on the horizon.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #28 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post
You sure? From what I read they had a healthy business with 26.9% market for the first ten months of 1995 then it went bad.

 

Who, Apple? I don't think Apple ever had anywhere near a quarter of the market. Not even in the Apple ][ days.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #29 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Who, Apple? I don't think Apple ever had anywhere near a quarter of the market. Not even in the Apple ][ days.

Ahh you are correct, I read the article wrong, they had a sales increase of 26.9%. I stand corrected.

post #30 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

I'm sure all the people recently out of a job will appreciate your wonderful post. Companies falling like this is never a good thing and does nothing to make the industry better.

Unfortunately, creative destruction is at the heart of capitalism, and capitalism is at the heart of wealth creation.
post #31 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Here's an existential musing for you: If no one's buying their crap, can they really be considered a competitor?

++++

A powerful statement made with great economy!
post #32 of 78

I don't get why everyone on here is so delighted to see a company doing badly. Grow up.

post #33 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaroony View Post

Yes nearly went bankrupt and cut thousands of jobs in 1996 just like RIM is doing now. I think it would be a great thing if RIM could reinvent themselves and make a come back. 
Sure it would be nice if they could become viable again. The probability is extremely low though.
Quote:

Although I can't say I liked the Blackberry when my work gave me one but it did do a couple things nicely. Their new OS looks quite decent.

Well before rumors of an Apple phone came to light I looked at the various smart phones out there at the time. For the life of me I could never grasp why people would even want to carry a RIM device around with them. Basically RIMs phones had none of the features I really needed and those features where delivered in a grossly dysfunctional box. At the time I just got the cheapest cell phone available.

Today, Apple has rebooted the entire cell phone market. They deliver the type of functionality that people really want, can make use of easily and is an all around good performer.

Interestingly I'm not thrilled at loosing yet another OS to Android and IOS. RIM in their mad rush to compete with Apple bought up a real time OS that frankly the world could make use of. The reality is this though, it is far better for RIM to fail right now and see this OS come back to the world free of the trouble RIM has caused.
post #34 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
I don't get why everyone on here is so delighted to see a company doing badly. Grow up.

 

I don't get why you're not delighted to see stagnation be forced out.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #35 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


++++
A powerful statement made with great economy!


Wow, you have a pretty low bar!

post #36 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I don't get why everyone on here is so delighted to see a company doing badly. Grow up.

Grow Up?

This is what business is all about. Either you solve your customers needs and desires or you fail. I don't think anyone here is expressing delight at RIMs fall, what we are saying is that the company has run its course.

Locally the big yellow box (Kodak) has fallen on very hard times. No one is delighted to see the condition the company is in, however we realize that film has run its course as a consumer good. People that realize the gravy train is over at Kodak can successfully move on to other occupations, start new businesses or in other ways move on. For Rochester we have been able to handle the resultant influx of workers because every body understands the need to move on.

The point is RIMs failure can be a success for many in the same way that the many that have left Kodak left for better pasture. It is all about attititude, recognize what is happening and you can take the actions required to move on.
post #37 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post
maybe not in Canada (a place not widely known for innovation)

What kind of a BS statement is this?

 

I suggest you do some reading with current textbooks mate; per-capita Canada preforms just as well when it comes to innovation as any other country.

Although I could care less what happens to RIM, just do not marginalize Canada with bullshit that you pull out of thin air.

post #38 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


Wow, you have a pretty low bar!

Not at all! The statement pretty much hit upon the root issue here. That is if nobody is buying your crap then your business will fail. For this forum it was a well stated post.
post #39 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I don't get why everyone on here is so delighted to see a company doing badly. Grow up.

Where do you see any posts like this?

Most seem to be implying it is about time they go away but I don't see anyone saying they are glad/happy about people going out of work or even that they are happy that the company is failing.

post #40 of 78

Faceberry, blackbook, FBRiM... just testing how the words sound...

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