RIM changes leadership in hopes to recover

– Ahmed S. Minhas, staff

In light of current events, RIM (Research in Motion), the Waterloo, Ontario based company that manufactures the popular line of Blackberry smartphones has removed co-CEO’s and founders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis.

In turn, RIM’s former COO Thorstein Heins has assumed the job of President and CEO of the company.

This came as RIM’s shares fell 75% in 2011 from $148 to $15.67 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. This is largely due to a lack of innovation in the lightning-fast paced smartphone market and the failure of RIM’s Playbook which has cost the company nearly $500 million in lost revenue.

However, RIM’s subscriber base went up from 35 million users to 75 million in the same year.

A large number of students at Laurier Brantford use a Blackberry smartphone and its unique messaging system, Blackberry Messenger (BBM).

Some students are being put off by the recent BBM outages and may choose a different smartphone vendor to suit their needs.

“Personally, I’m probably making the change to an iPhone or another smartphone soon because Blackberry just isn’t doing it for me. A lot of the technology is far behind compared to that of the iPhone. The apps are cooler, the phones are attractive, and BBM constantly fails these days. I’m sick and tired of my messages not sending as quickly as they should”, said Julie Groff, a third year Concurrent Education student.

Before joining RIM in 2007, Heins worked at German technology giant Siemens for 23 years eventually earning the job of chief technology officer.

When asked how Heins would bring the ailing company back to its former market dominance, he answered in a press release, “I want us to have a bit more of an ear to the consumer market, understanding trends, not just listening to what Bay Street is telling you. We need to do a better job on that.”

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