As RIM continues to fall behind Apple, investors call for ouster of co-CEOs

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
With Apple's iPhone now significantly outperforming Research in Motion's BlackBerry line and the company struggling to respond, some investors have called for a change in leadership at the Canadian smartphone maker.



Shares of RIM stock have been sinking as its market share has dwindled, while Apple's iPhone and devices running Google Android have found tremendous success. Those struggles, according to Reuters, have put RIM co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie in the hot seat.



Northern Securities analyst Sameet Kanade has asked RIM to consider dropping Balsillie as a co-CEO, while Charter Equity analyst Ed Snyder characterized both Balsillie and Lazaridis as "stuck in the past." And Bing Gordon of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins said the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs are more likely to win a Stanley Cup for the first time in more than 40 years than RIM is to build a "number one phone."



An anonymous investor at a top-30 fund also reportedly said they would "likely support" the influence of an activist like billionaire Carl Icahn, who could invest in the company while its value is low and institute big changes.



Icahn is labeled as a "prime candidate" because of previous work at Motorola, in which the company's mobile phone business was spun off and found success.



In April, RIM made its first attempt to counter Apple's iPad with the release of the BlackBerry PlayBook, though consumer interest in the launch of the device was categorized as tepid. Soon after, the company opted to pre-announce sales that came in lower than expected, and to warn investors of delays for new BlackBerry product launches.







Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs predicted RIM's struggles last October in a surprise appearance on his company's quarterly earnings conference call. In that quarter, Apple's 14.1 million iPhones sold easily bested the 12.1 million BlackBerries sold by RIM.



"We've now passed RIM," Jobs said. "I don't see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future. It will be a challenge for them to create a mobile software platform and convince developers to support a third platform."



Questions about RIM's leadership come soon after another major player in the mobile space, and rival of Apple's -- Microsoft -- has been the subject of public debate over its own chief executive. Last week, influential hedge fund manager David Einhorn made waves when he called on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to step down.



Einhorn, president of the $7.9 billion Greenlight Capital Hedge fund, characterized Ballmer as "the biggest overhang on Microsoft's stock." He also called for Ballmer to "give someone else a chance" to lead.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    I never understood why there were co-CEOs. That tells me true lack of direction and management. RIM isn't going to disappear of course, but they are in some trouble.
  • Reply 2 of 65
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    With Apple's iPhone now significantly outperforming Research in Motion's BlackBerry line and the company struggling to respond, some investors have called for a change in leadership at the Canadian smartphone maker. ...



    The irony here is that RIM is basically a great company with a lot of great ideas and a lot of good people working for them. They make a simple mistake about predicting where the market will go, and sat on their laurels for a single season and now they are basically done.



    Microsoft on the other hand is a big crap hole full of idiots that seem to know very little about the market and have no good ideas other than copying the next guy. They have been blundering around and sitting on their laurels for over ten years now. They have also failed at almost every project they attempted in that same time period.



    Yet somehow Balmer is golden and Microsoft is rarely talked about as a company in any kind of trouble even as RIM is taking the bullet for a few short term mistakes.



    The Co-CEO thing is a bit ridiculous but even despite that, RIM has better management and smarter, more capable people running it than Microsoft does in almost every way.
  • Reply 3 of 65
    originalgoriginalg Posts: 381member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I never understood why there were co-CEOs. That tells me true lack of direction and management. RIM isn't going to disappear of course, but they are in some trouble.



    They founded the company together, so if one had more power than the other he'd cry 'no fair' just like the Google boys did before
  • Reply 4 of 65
    alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    "primate candidate"

  • Reply 5 of 65
    constable odoconstable odo Posts: 1,041member
    There's always been the saying that "Two heads are better than one." I guess that also applies to the guillotine chopping block. It's a really sad thing when you've started a company, ran it successfully for years and then after hitting some rough patches the board of directors say that you're no longer wanted. That must really hurt to the core. I can imagine that Steve Jobs felt the same way when he was ousted.



    The BlackBerry line really seems to be somewhat outdated when compared to those slick Android smartphones with huge displays and fast processors. I'm certainly no fan of those button-laden BlackBerries and at a casual glance, they all look about the same to me. However, I still see a lot of people texting with them and I'm sure they're still in demand. I think it will be tough for any one company to tackle the Android onslaught except for Apple which has such a huge ecosystem and retail marketing strategy.



    I hope that RIM can make some changes with the QNX OS and some new touch-display hardware. Perhaps the texting heydays are over and RIM needs to move on. Wall Street is giving RIM a very bad image in comparison to Android smartphones, so RIM is seriously getting stepped on. I feel certain the company is sound, but it's days of top smartphone market share is gone and it's high share price will never return, in my opinion.



    Too bad for a decent company such as RIM. Wall Street only seems to reward the top market share holder and anything less than that is considered valueless. That's a poor way to keep an economy running smoothly.
  • Reply 6 of 65
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,937member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I never understood why there were co-CEOs. That tells me true lack of direction and management. RIM isn't going to disappear of course, but they are in some trouble.



    My school PTO has co-Presidents, three VPs, two secretary and a treasurer or two. Just made me think of that.



    On topic, I could buy tickets to watch companies buckle under the pressure Apple is putting on them. With each passing quarter, we hear about the next "iPhone killer" or "real competition to the iPad." Many don't even have products that come close, much less the iTunes ecosystem and brand recognition.
  • Reply 7 of 65
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Financial people are bizare.



    If investors want to complain about something, try the lack of functional e-mail in their tablet. _That's_ the reason their tablet failed.
  • Reply 8 of 65
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,812member
    Steve Jobs was dead on when he said convincing developers to support a third platform would be difficult. And this goes for the rumored new, from-the-ground-up Windows mobile OS too.
  • Reply 9 of 65
    psych_guypsych_guy Posts: 458member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post


    My school PTO has co-Presidents, three VPs, two secretary and a treasurer or two. Just made me think of that.



    On topic, I could buy tickets to watch companies buckle under the pressure Apple is putting on them. With each passing quarter, we hear about the next "iPhone killer" or "real competition to the iPad." Many don't even have products that come close, much less the iTunes ecosystem and brand recognition.



    I keep hearing what a great company RIM is but what I'm seeing is a one-trick pony that got out ahead with it's great idea 15-20 years ago and made no proactive move to diversify or look ahead. They've been reacting to Apple and that's a losing game in all aspects.



    Until they get somebody with vision and some great R&D talent, they're fucked.
  • Reply 10 of 65
    thepixeldocthepixeldoc Posts: 2,257member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I never understood why there were co-CEOs. That tells me true lack of direction and management. RIM isn't going to disappear of course, but they are in some trouble.



    Well I've already stated here at AI over a year ago, that RIM won't be around at the beginning of 2012... certainly not as a stand-alone company. And I'm still looking at Microsoft taking over, or investing in them so heavily, that they'll surely be considered a "unit" of Microsoft Mobile Strategies.



    I guess that means i disagree with you
  • Reply 11 of 65
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,061member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post


    Wall Street only seems to reward the top market share holder and anything less than that is considered valueless.



    If that were the case, Nokia would be the most valuable handset company.



    Wall Street rewards expected future cash flows. As it should.
  • Reply 12 of 65
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:



    Yet somehow Balmer is golden and Microsoft is rarely talked about as a company in any kind of trouble even as RIM is taking the bullet for a few short term mistakes.




    Ballmer is golden? Should check their stock over the last few years, not to mention recent news calling for Ballmer's head.
  • Reply 13 of 65
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post


    Well I've already stated here at AI over a year ago, that RIM won't be around at the beginning of 2012... certainly not as a stand-alone company. And I'm still looking at Microsoft taking over, or investing in them so heavily, that they'll surely be considered a "unit" of Microsoft Mobile Strategies.



    I can't see Microsoft investing in RIM now that they're in bed with Nokia. What would they gain?



    Having said that, they were stupid enough to buy Skype for $8.5bil...
  • Reply 14 of 65
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Wait, isn't this just another example of shareholder meddling?
  • Reply 15 of 65
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,061member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Wait, isn't this just another example of shareholder meddling?



    And the problem with that would be...... ? (Unless you were being tongue-in-cheek).
  • Reply 16 of 65
    thepixeldocthepixeldoc Posts: 2,257member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    I can't see Microsoft investing in RIM now that they're in bed with Nokia. What would they gain?



    Having said that, they were stupid enough to buy Skype for $8.5bil...



    To get a "secure" back-end, and to wrap up the enterprise for themselves... or so they (Ballmer) would think. Also as you said, they're pretty "lose" with their cash, and looking at anything that they think "might" be interesting to give their mobile a push in the right direction. Keyword: might.



    If not MS... then anyone else have any ideas who would take it on? In the article they mention Carl Icahn.. and yes, he would spin it, flip it, whatever, to pull as much profit and bucks out as possible. Maybe a rich Arab or Sheik? They seem to like RIM's "secure" products... \
  • Reply 17 of 65
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    Ballmer is golden? Should check their stock over the last few years, not to mention recent news calling for Ballmer's head.



    One serious person has suggested this in the last week. But for the last ten years of ineptitude, he is still "golden" in most circles. He should really have been replaced years and years ago.
  • Reply 18 of 65
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    And the problem with that would be...... ? (Unless you were being tongue-in-cheek).



    Sort of. I don't think shareholders expressing their concerns about how a company is run is any kind of problem, but whenever I've suggested this where Apple is concerned, I'm branded as an apostate.
  • Reply 19 of 65
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    Why should I care about RIM? I buy what I like. I don't care about RIM. I care about Apple and Apple stuff.
  • Reply 20 of 65
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    QNX for 25 years also had the two co-founders alternating the top CEO position. Odd number years, one co-founder would be CEO (the number 1 position) and the other co-founder is the President (the number 2 position). Then even number years, they switched places.



    This arrangement only stopped when one of the QNX co-founders retired after the company was sold to Harman International.
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