COMMENTARY | Something is happening in Canada.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Research in Motion is having some management shake ups. More specifically, it appears that the company’s co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, may be stepping down from their positions. This news comes after a disappointing showing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and falling market share and stock prices. Balsillie and Lazaridis both will continue to hold large amounts of shares in the company, and Lazaridis will remain vice chairman of the board. Balsillie denied that the move had anything to do with the growing stockholder opposition to RIM’s management, although it’s hard to argue that the anger had something to do with it.
Taking over the CEO position will be the former COO of the company, Thorsten Heins. His predecessor , Lazaridis, gave praise to his replacement, saying his appointment marked a new beginning for the troubled technology company and admitted the past few years “had been a bumpy ride.” In a year where RIM’s shares and sales took a nose dive, that last statement is hard to argue with.
So what does this mean for RIM? It’s hard to tell currently. The upper management at RIM has always been the target of criticism, and new blood could serve the company well. As it stands, RIM currently has a underperforming tablet, the Blackberry Playbook, and phones that run on a outdated software platform. Despite a new version of the Playbook software being announced at CES, and new phones coming later this year, it’s hard to tell whether or not RIM can return to their previous market share. With iOS and Android both dominating the market, and Windows Phone 7 gaining marketshare, one can only hope this change in management will help RIM.