We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

New RIM Chairman Will Face Tough Challenges

There is speculation that a new chairman will be appointed to try and get the beleaguered company back on track.

Rumors are circulating that RIM will soon shake up its leadership by appointing a new chairman. The maker of the BlackBerry smartphones has had a rough year, and is quickly losing relevance. A change at the top may bring some fresh perspective and new vision, but expecting a new chairman to be a white knight that saves the company may be asking too much.

The role of chairman at RIM is currently filled by two people. The co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, are also its co-chairman. While the saying suggests “two heads are better than one,” the chaos at RIM seems to indicate more along the lines of “too many chefs spoil the soup.”

RIM made the same mistake that other iconic companies have made over the years. It believed it was too big to fail and didn’t take its rivals seriously until it was too late. The Apple iPhone, and the Android invasion have decimated RIM market share in the industry that it helped put on the map in the first place.

Throughout 2011, RIM careened wildly about with seemingly no vision or strategy. Companies make mistakes, and make course corrections all the time, but few companies have had the problems that RIM had in 2011 and survived to talk about it. It is a testament to RIM’s once-dominant role in the industry that it still exists at all.

Is it too late for RIM? Perhaps. Many might consider it a coup if the incoming chairman can just successfully negotiate an acquisition that gives RIM some sort of exit strategy that puts money in shareholder pockets. It would at least be better than the current business strategy that seems to revolve around self-annihilation.

RIM has struggled to keep up with the competition -- never mind actually innovating -- but don’t throw any dirt on the coffin just yet. It is hard to ignore the fact that many businesses and government agencies rely on BlackBerry devices for mobile communication, and they’re not prepared to just abandon their BlackBerry infrastructure and jump ship to another platform overnight.

The new chairman will have to crack the whip and get the company headed in the right direction again. Define a tablet strategy and deliver, or get out of the tablet business. Map out a solid roadmap for the BlackBerry OS, and BlackBerry smartphones and execute.

The company still has promise, but reversing its fortunes will be a Herculean task. Suffice it to say, I don’t envy the position the new chairman will find himself in -- but I wish him (or her) good luck.

IDG UK Sites

How to get free Office 2016 today: Download the new Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview - how to...

IDG UK Sites

Why Scottish Tablet is better than the iPad mini

IDG UK Sites

How to develop for Microsoft's HoloLens

IDG UK Sites

Apple MacBook 1.1 GHz review (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015): The future of Apple laptops