Beleaguered RIM to lay off 2,000 employees, 11% of workforce

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  • Reply 21 of 78
    neilmneilm Posts: 589member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    Yes, they turned around when they brought back in the visionary founder, but what do you do when the visionary founders are the probem?



    And there you have it.



    It's a little reminiscent of the old GM vs. the imports. First GM mocked them, then failed to understand what was happening even when it was abundantly obvious to everyone else, and finally they got their heads handed to them.
  • Reply 22 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    As a Theoretical Physicist manqué I feel a bit of sadness about the failure of RIM because Lazaridis has done a lot for the subject in founding Perimeter, but it seems like there is no saving RIM - they have a very short window in which to make a huge turn-around and increasingly they don't seem to understand what it would require.



    At any rate they have 2billion in cash and haven't yet gone into the red, so they have a couple of years in which to reboot their business. It's hard to see it happening though.



    ...but just because Lazaridis is good at those things (and judging from insider reports), doesn't mean he is a good CEO. Corporate culture is a critical and oft overlooked piece of the puzzle. Left to their own devices, most successful companies grow mature and slowly become less capable to move and change when technology shifts. Managing a constantly and consistently competitive corporate culture requires a high degree of discipline and an eye to future possibilities, as well as preventing "middle-aged spread" from engulfing the company. RIMM is a victim of its own culture. The RIMM BOD could remedy it - if in fact they can recognize what's going on - but they recently appointed a committee to review the situation, so they are locked into corporate culture themselves, and unable to break out of it apparently.
  • Reply 23 of 78
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    ... RIM - they have a very short window in which to make a huge turn-around and increasingly they don't seem to understand what it would require.



    At any rate they have 2billion in cash and haven't yet gone into the red, so they have a couple of years in which to reboot their business. ...



    Unfortunately, business doesn't work that way. It's already too late. The layoffs are the first step in the standard business re-organisation that happens in cases like this.



    If they are lucky, someone will buy them before the end of the year, or they will decide to give the CEOs the heave-ho and refocus the business on BBM (software) only. If neither of those happen, by early next year at the latest they will be laying off a lot more people and the International business will begin shrinking to the point that even BBM will be a product that no one wants.



    It is sad about the Physics donations though. It was also nice to see a Canadian company triumph over the USA technologically, however short lived in ended up being.
  • Reply 24 of 78
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Investors must like lay-offs... RIM is down only 3.5% on low volume so far today. I see an 11% lay-off and all I wanna do is sell sell sell...
  • Reply 25 of 78
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Steve Jobs did it. Why not these guys?



    Because Steve Jobs is taken.



    He's working for another company now. Just... like... last time, WAIT! Just have Apple buy RIM.
  • Reply 26 of 78
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Because Steve Jobs is taken.



    He's working for another company now. Just... like... last time, WAIT! Just have Apple buy RIM.



    How long do you think the Co-Ceos would last...
  • Reply 27 of 78
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    How long do you think the Co-Ceos would last...



    RIM gets shut down in this hypothetical purchase... BlackBerry is discontinued and just the patents and a few engineers are kept.
  • Reply 28 of 78
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    If they are lucky, someone will buy them before the end of the year, or they will decide to give the CEOs the heave-ho and refocus the business on BBM (software) only. If neither of those happen, by early next year at the latest they will be laying off a lot more people and the International business will begin shrinking to the point that even BBM will be a product that no one wants.



    The problem there is that the current market cap is too high to justify it. It's hard to see RIM as a pure software firm being worth 14BN - that would make it equal to Adobe. So any buyer at current prices would have to believe they could rescue the hardware side too.



    The current valuation suggests that investors still believe that RIM can be turned around, we may both disagree with them, but for as long as they continue to believe it RIM still has a window of opportunity.
  • Reply 29 of 78
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post


    ...but just because Lazaridis is good at those things (and judging from insider reports), doesn't mean he is a good CEO.



    Oh it sounds like he's pretty terrible as a CEO, his obsession with technical details would be ok if they were technical details that actually mattered to the consumer. Unfortunately for RIM people really don't care if the BB has a better speakerphone than the iPhone.
  • Reply 30 of 78
    bilbo63bilbo63 Posts: 285member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Steve Jobs did it. Why not these guys?



    They are not Steve Jobs.
  • Reply 31 of 78
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    I remember another tech company that, in the mid 90s, had a much worse balance sheet and less market share than RIM...



    It's amazing how few people realize how utterly amazing Apple's performance has been over the past 15 years. It's hard to imagine that anyone else could have done what Jobs did.



    For comparison, out of millions of companies around the world, how many have done what Apple did? AFAIK, the answer is 'zero'.



    Is it possible? Sure. There could be another great visionary leader out there who just hasn't had the right opportunity. And, of course, RIM doesn't need an Apple-level turnaround to be successful. But, realistically, if RIM pulls it off, it is going to take major changes, a one in a billion leader, and LOTS of luck.
  • Reply 32 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    The problem there is that the current market cap is too high to justify it. It's hard to see RIM as a pure software firm being worth 14BN - that would make it equal to Adobe. So any buyer at current prices would have to believe they could rescue the hardware side too.



    The current valuation suggests that investors still believe that RIM can be turned around, we may both disagree with them, but for as long as they continue to believe it RIM still has a window of opportunity.



    Agreed.



    I guess what I'm saying is that it seems so obvious to me that RIM's hardware hasn't got a chance in the market, that sometime in the next year (or even the next few months), this point of view will become the mainstream view. The company will then collapse a bit further shrinking it's value even more and *then* it will be bought up or taken over.



    One never knows though with the recent example of Nokia being basically taken over by Microsoft, long before most observers were sounding it's death knell. Perhaps some entity that wishes to buy RIM can convince the board of the hopelessness of their situation and thus force an earlier sale for less than the current valuation?
  • Reply 33 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    It's amazing how few people realize how utterly amazing Apple's performance has been over the past 15 years. It's hard to imagine that anyone else could have done what Jobs did.



    For comparison, out of millions of companies around the world, how many have done what Apple did? AFAIK, the answer is 'zero'.



    Is it possible? Sure. There could be another great visionary leader out there who just hasn't had the right opportunity. And, of course, RIM doesn't need an Apple-level turnaround to be successful. But, realistically, if RIM pulls it off, it is going to take major changes, a one in a billion leader, and LOTS of luck.



    On the other hand... quite a few people have taken zero and turned it into something... but, yes, it's much much harder (next to impossible) to do once a company's culture has been established...
  • Reply 34 of 78
    gctwnlgctwnl Posts: 276member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    Because Steve wasn't the guy who dug Apple into the pit in the first place, he came in with a completely new vision of how to get out. Could an outsider save RIM? Maybe, but it's hard to think who is available who could achieve it.



    Steve brought something else than a vision how to get out. He brought a vision about 'being a company'. There is this video where he addresses Apple employees shortly after returning, and it is telling. It is all about 'who do we want to be'. Steve seems to have succeeded in rallying the troops. He also brought a couple of very good guys in from NeXT (next to the good guys Apple already had, such as Ive) and of course his drive for customer experience. Those three together made it happen.



    Now, RIM needs to change its corporate culture from the deep roots and the current head honchos are not going to be able to do that. They must have good engineers. But they seem to lack decent designers in terms of customer experience. It'll be a difficult turnaround and I don't see it happening for now.
  • Reply 35 of 78
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gctwnl View Post


    Steve brought something else than a vision how to get out. He brought a vision about 'being a company'. There is this video where he addresses Apple employees shortly after returning, and it is telling. It is all about 'who do we want to be'. Steve seems to have succeeded in rallying the troops. He also brought a couple of very good guys in from NeXT (next to the good guys Apple already had, such as Ive) and of course his drive for customer experience. Those three together made it happen.



    Absolutely, he brought a lot of things, he brought a change in the media story too - and a change in customer expectations. There's no one person who could bring everything to RIM that Steve Jobs brought to Apple. Now perhaps RIM bought their NEXT-style engineering talent in with QNX, but the problem is that they still need design talent and 'the vision thing'.



    There's also a really good video of his Q&A session after WWDC 1997, (before he became CEO but after his return), and it's telling how completely different his vision of Apple is from the management of the interregnum.
  • Reply 36 of 78
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,433member
    This is shocking and totally unexpected. I am so sad.



    One of the RIM CEO's said that the playbook was "way ahead" of the iPad and that it was setting the bar higher.



    And one of the CEO's slammed Apple for it's "distortion field".



    "For those of us who live outside of Apple's distortion field, we know that 7" tablets will actually be a big portion of the market," Balsillie wrote. He argued that RIM's support for Adobe Flash and an approach to developers that is more open than Apple's will give RIM an edge.





    These CEO's with their big, ignorant mouths should be looking for new jobs as janitors somewhere, as that profession seems to be what they are best qualified for, since there is a lot of garbage coming out of their mouths.

  • Reply 37 of 78
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I guess what I'm saying is that it seems so obvious to me that RIM's hardware hasn't got a chance in the market, that sometime in the next year (or even the next few months), this point of view will become the mainstream view. The company will then collapse a bit further shrinking it's value even more and *then* it will be bought up or taken over.



    I think RIM still has an outside chance with hardware, it's not like the industry isn't full of zombies already. Did you see S-Es last results? Terrible. This week I think we get Moto's, and I fully expect them to be terrible too. RIM can squeak through as a corporate friendly competitor to Android, but it at least needs phones that compete with mid-priced Android offerings, and ideally it needs a really high-profile android security scare.



    Quote:

    One never knows though with the recent example of Nokia being basically taken over by Microsoft, long before most observers were sounding it's death knell. Perhaps some entity that wishes to buy RIM can convince the board of the hopelessness of their situation and thus force an earlier sale for less than the current valuation?



    Convincing the board wouldn't be enough, investors aren't going to sell to an offer that is substantially below market price, even with board approval. I guess it's possible that management could destroy value fast enough, at least as likely as them managing a turn around.
  • Reply 38 of 78
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Is it possible? Sure. There could be another great visionary leader out there who just hasn't had the right opportunity. And, of course, RIM doesn't need an Apple-level turnaround to be successful. But, realistically, if RIM pulls it off, it is going to take major changes, a one in a billion leader, and LOTS of luck.



    I think that's the point we need to keep in mind, it doesn't need an Apple level turnaround to survive for the medium term - a Motorola level turn around would keep it in business for a good few years. Still a long-shot, but no longer an insane long-shot.



    I think a more interesting question than 'is RIM screwed?' would be 'is RIM more screwed than Nokia?'
  • Reply 39 of 78
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Again???



    How 'bout laying off just two!



    Guess who!!!

    /

    /

    /
  • Reply 40 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Steve Jobs did it. Why not these guys?



    Vision1
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