RIM's new chief: Five things I'll change

RIM's new chief: Five things I'll change

Summary: Research in Motion's new CEO Thorsten Heins talked software, employee and shareholder morale and the role of consumers in his debut conference call.

SHARE:

Research in Motion's new CEO Thorsten Heins made his debut on an analyst call and outlined some general themes in his plan to turn the company around.

Heins will now serve as the new chief executive and president of RIM, effective immediately. Barbara Stymiest, a former banking executive, will become the company’s new chairwoman. Former co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis will remain as directors and shareholders.

Heins said in an interview that his plan is to make RIM more efficient, and move decisively while communicating better with stakeholders. Also, RIM will prototype and develop products continually and focus on consumerization of BlackBerry smartphones.

He elaborated on those themes a bit on his debut conference call. Here are the five items on Heins' hit list.

1. Software is key: BlackBerry 10 and PlayBook 2.0 will also have an "Android player" built in, something that RIM is particularly proud of, and notes it as a "very strong element to its strategy."

QNX-based BlackBerry 10 is an extremely competitive mobile operating system already, said Heins, calling the acquisition "very valuable to RIM".  It is a "proven OS", and he praised Lazaridis for acquiring the software instead of trying to build its own. He added that PlayBook is not "just a tablet,' it is a gateway to the "mobile computing platform"  and that BlackBerry 10 is not just a new operating system but "a whole new infrastructure."

BlackBerry 10 will "prove itself as a platform." RIM could even license it as an operating system for other companies to use. Although licensing is not Heins' first priority, he said he would "entertain the idea."

2. Feed the expectations of shareholders: Heins argued that RIM has a unique position to create integrated and mobile communication solutions. BlackBerry is still one of the most recognized brands, with 75 million BlackBerry subscribers, including 55 million  consumer BlackBerry Messenger users.

3. Set the agenda for the future BlackBerry devices: BlackBerry 7 was "well received", and BlackBerry 10 and PlayBook 2.0 are on deck. The new platform was necessary, but Heins wants to continue to focus on customer-focused products into the next decade. Recruiting a new chief marketing officer for "most compelling products and services" was a priority.

4. Empower his employees: "Succeed as an individual, succeed as a company" was Heins' mantra. He said he will ensure that RIM's employees have all the tools they need to succeed. He noted that employees are shareholders, too.

5. More marketing driven, more consumer driven: "RIM has gone through a tremendous growth phase," Heins said. But "execution has to be done decisively". He recognizes that RIM is still completing "a major transformation," but emphasized that the company needs to really dig in to its customers in both the enterprise and consumer market.

Related:

More on RIM:

Topics: BlackBerry, Mobility, Security

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

13 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Go get'em Heins

    I have a Playbook. I like it much more than I thought I would (I was only in it for a low cost tablet). There has been the odd problem, but the low price bought my patience. It has some serious potential.
    happyharry_z
    • RE: RIM's new chief: Five things I'll change

      @happyharry_z

      I'm with you on the Playbook. Got a 16GB model just before Thanksgiving for USD$199.00. Patiently waiting for v2.0 of the OS.

      They have already make a HUGE mistake with BB 10 in delaying that until later this year. May be too little too late anyway for RIM.
      IT_Fella
      • RE: RIM's new chief: Five things I'll change

        @IT_Fella Deliver late or deliver unfinished - damned either way.
        I'd rather see a finished product.
        radleym
    • RE: RIM's new chief: Five things I'll change

      Hi @happyharry_z,

      Alex from RIM here. Happy to hear you???re enjoying the PlayBook. With the release of PlayBook 2.0 right around the corner, there???s even more to look forward to. From new apps and content, including support for the Android App Player, to improved messaging and more powerful pairing with a BlackBerry smartphone, there???s a lot to be excited about.

      To get a better idea of what PlayBook 2.0 will bring, check out these videos we posted recently on our Inside BlackBerry Blog ??? the first video highlights the latest version of BlackBerry Bridge (http://bbry.lv/z1IsJk), while the second shows off the enhanced communications experience PlayBook 2.0 delivers (http://bbry.lv/A42wAO).

      Cheers,
      Alex, RIM Social Media Team
      alexkinsella
    • Hopefully they make a go of it. Love QnX.

      @happyharry_z

      Technically, it is a great OS. I have been thinking of getting a PlayBook at the price it is at.
      Bruizer
    • RE: RIM's new chief: Five things I'll change

      @happyharry_z
      Indeed, the Playbook has an OS which is very intuitive and very stable, certainly more stable than any Android tablet I have seen, I look forward to the Android Player.
      Doctor Demento
  • RE: RIM's new chief: Five things I'll change

    Failure to embrace Windows Phone 7's better stability, and seurity, will be RIM's downfall
    Stephen-B
    • RE: RIM's new chief: Five things I'll change

      @Stephen-B

      How can you talk about better stability, when you have not even seen or driven QNX for real?

      How do I know? Because QNX is not there yet on the BB smartphone platform.

      Alas, (and with all due respects) in reality assumptions, presumptions, bigotry and prejudice will be [b][u][i]your[/i][/u][/b] downfall.

      [i]~~~~~~~~~~
      An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.
      ~ Laurence J. Peter

      All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.
      ~ Mark Twain

      Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
      ~ Confucius

      To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.
      ~ Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881), Sybil, 1845 [/i]
      WinTard
      • RE: RIM's new chief: Five things I'll change

        @WinTard Yet WP 7 is the only mobile OS that was built with security in mind. It is also the only OS with a fresh interface, that will help the users. Blackberry was once the security campion, but the New Champoin is WP 7.
        Stephen-B
  • RE: RIM's new chief: Five things I'll change

    Here is a crazy idea.... Pick either:
    "We are a govt supporting agency" and develop a plan to get there ie. best in breed encryption, expensive units, policies around giving info to governments as requested.

    OR

    "We are a consumer product and want to be best in breed at connecting people to other people, We do not inherently support any govt agency". then add technology to your next generation phone that provides:
    - Direct to/from Satellite comms to prevent local governments in evil or potentially evil countries from blocking comms during social unrest situations
    - Regular comms as well to make it cheaper (for now) for the consumer to use than the high cost of sattelite comms costs
    - Build your mega data center somewhere that has comms direct to sattelites
    - Build your own satellite network to leverage yourself as THE comms provider for everything from handsets to home internet into the next century.
    - Augment satellite network with lighter than air stationary craft using solar power etc.
    - you have just killed all the competition for reliability.

    Am I dreaming? yeah probably
    lechev
  • RE: RIM's new chief: Five things I'll change

    Don't blame CEO, they want RIM win.

    RIM has strange culture and self distruct political environment.

    In RIM if a new hired person figure out major problem and introduce efficient approach, both manager and his buddy group member will proof their wrong approach works. just like someone point out driving a car is right way, pushing a car is wrong way, then both manager and his buddy group member will hate you, and proof that 3 person can also move the car by pushing it. cheating email will be sent to some vice president, saying like: see, the car moving, pushing a car is a natural part of the process, in order to deny new hired contribution of introducing skill of drive a car, they have to deny merit of driving a car.

    It is very strange company culture and strange company political environment, it promote stealing and cheating skill. RIM's management may be a typical instance in MBA course.

    This culture deny or steal hardworking team members' contribution/innovation, generate strange political environment, destroy RIM.

    So don't blame CEO, some of their VPs and VPs' expert generate terrible culture and self destruct political environment.
    maxmz
  • not co-CEO, some of their VPs and VPs' "expert" destroy RIM

    Don't blame CEO, they want RIM win.

    RIM has strange culture and self distruct political environment.

    In RIM if a new hired person figure out major problem and introduce efficient approach, both manager and his buddy group member will proof their wrong approach works. just like someone point out driving a car is right way, pushing a car is wrong way, then both manager and his buddy group member will hate you, and proof that 3 person can also move the car by pushing it. cheating email will be sent to some vice president, saying like: see, the car moving, pushing a car is a natural part of the process, in order to deny new hired contribution of introducing skill of drive a car, they have to deny merit of driving a car.

    It is very strange company culture and strange company political environment, it promote stealing and cheating skill. RIM's management may be a typical instance in MBA course.

    This culture deny or steal hardworking team members' contribution/innovation, generate strange political environment, destroy RIM.

    So don't blame CEO, some of their VPs and VPs' expert generate terrible culture and self destruct political environment.
    maxmz
  • Hello from Boost Mobile.

    I'm usually only a Google (Android) supporter. Yet here I am wishing the best for Blackberry (RIM).

    Why?

    Well I was between androids on my business line. I needed a phone to continue to have open communication between me and my customers. So my fiancee allowed me to use his old BB 8330. At first I was so unhappy, Then as it came time for my new android to come in....

    I ended up giving my fiancee my new android! Now I have ordered the discontinued Blackberry Style.
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll get a newer BB with a touch screen and a keyboard.
    Since we are an MVNO of Sprint, I'm hoping we'll see that Bold 9930 eventually.

    So here is to me hoping that RIM will keep going. I positively adore the functionality that peaked my interest in RIM.
    I still have my android on my personal line but for business use, A Blackberry is... Well.. Perfect!

    My fiancee also has the Playbook, It's actually much better for games than my Galaxy Tab. Heh. I may just steal it from him. ;-P

    Boost Mobile Store Manager,
    Lucia.
    Septembersrain