Jan 23, 2012

How much difference will it make that Thorsten Heins has been named the new CEO of RIM?

RIM has been struggling for a while now, and at least in the US, facing declining market share. Service interruption issues and a limited product line have not helped RIMs standing in the business community, the traditional foundation of the company's customer base. Is naming a new CEO enough to make a difference and turn around the company's fortunes?

Unless he turns out to be another Steve Jobs, I doubt it will make much difference in the short term. Over the longer term perhaps he will be able to make enough changes that the company will progress beyond where it is right now.

I think the only thing we can really do is sit tight and watch what he does. They need a viable long term strategy for growth and product development. Hopefully he'll be able to deliver on that and give the company a strategic road map for success.

Time will tell.

It is a start, at least.  But the problems at RIM are not going away anytime soon.  On the positive side, Blackberrys are in great demand in some countries, particularly in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.  Also, Blackberry still has a niche in the business market because of the company's long time focus on the security of its platform and email service.  On the negative side, as was pointed out in the question, RIM has been steadily losing market share in the US, and has little new to offer in the near future.  RIM's efforts to break in to the tablet market have not been successful, and hurt their bottom line.  Multiple service outages over the past year has also damaged RIMs reputation as a stone reliable provider of business oriented email and messaging services.  It's going to take more than a new face to change these fundamental issues.  There needs to be a real shift in RIMs business model if the brand is going to regain it's luster.  Much like Palm before it, RIM remained stagnant in a market niche that it carved out for itself, then watched as other companies with more innovative approaches and marketing took away market share.  

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