When Research in Motion (RIM) announced it was looking to JP Morgan and RBC for advise on its strategy, you knew they had no strategy. There is only one reason to go this route: The board and the management ‘company proper’ had given up.
Watching RIM bellow out news that is designed to stabilize (not working) the market and public perception, I chuckled when Lazaridis told the media they were “priming Heins” (yeah right) for the CEO position for a long while because of his long track record in operations and other skills. Really? What a bunch of crock. The co-CEOs were forced out plain and simple and they picked someone “safe” who would “follow orders”.
No one prepares a “successor” to fail and to clearly walk into a mess (was he really “fully” aware of how bad things really were? He had to have some “inkling”) to only then pass it all off to “bank advisors” to decide RIM’s strategic fate.
Bank advisors (
vampires) are brought into to do a few things:
- to partition off ip into sale-able chunks
- protect shareholder/investor interests
- to PROFIT
They are not going to try and “revive” the company. That’s WORK. HARD WORK.
Ironically, through all this RIM K-W hoopla, we learned that the co-CEOs will get their typical amazing payout for doing a fantastic job as the two-headed dragon. Sorry, these guys don’t deserve respect for the latter part of their act. They don’t come close to the “$1 CEO” (a.k.a. Steve Jobs) on performance but like other typical American executives in other crappy tech firms, they all get a nice golden parachute while the rest of the employees suffer in a shit-hole for their undivided dedication before they are summoned off with a news announcement of 20,000 layoffs.
This is what is wrong with corporate North America. In a post-2008 financial apocalyptic world, the coaches of corporate North America get fired like they do in sports with some great benefits. Ironically, this entitlement business doesn’t apply to peons. No, in the mainstream media, peons demanding any reasonable entitlement is looked upon as some kind of vampire feeding session that is fashionable making for “justifiable off-shoring” of business operations (read: productive inputs called labour) to keep costs under extreme control.
But let’s not restrict Corporate North America from ridiculous entitlements because surely, they deserve it for the terribly bad performance of late and for their easy operational decisions to cut jobs to keep shareholders happy. Look, it’s unfortunate when it does happen to lower rank and file. Job layoffs are a fact of life today. However, it is really unfortunate when it happens to the same rank and file because of repeated bad decisions made by the same corporate executives. Some will argue that the market penalizes executives who run a bad game of baseball. In some cases, yes. In other cases, not so much because of their deep networks and other entangled alliances. Steve Jobs set the bar with his $1 salary strategy and very few others have done the same. And shocker, Steve didn’t even have to do it on the basis of some sloppy IPO and wobbly business model that smells like dump.
RIM’s situation is truly sad. It’s easy to confirm from within the company that management had become nepotistic, hiring idiots and morons to run as VP’s (“dead wood”) of whatever, while the front-lines with the necessary smarts and know-how to “get things done” got shit on nicely. Annoying and unnerving at best. Go visit Boy Genius Report for more than a few stories on this.
The absolute arrogance of the co-CEOs (don’t forget the board of directors too - useless twits then and now) to new entrants simply highlights how disconnected they had become to the real happenings of the world. However, they were not the only ones! Nokia and Microsoft’s Ballmer displayed the same arrogance and now eat apples daily to keep the doctor away. Even Apple after Jobs 1 (1985) was pathetically arrogant until Microsoft consolidated its strategy around OEM/VAR channels to launch Windows95 to beat Apple at the GUI (graphic user interface game) at a time when Apple had unraveled with bad management policies and O/S strategy under Sculley, Spindler and Amelio.
See this cool segment on Steve Jobs and NeXT (which would SAVE Apple under Job 2)
Now we get wind to the latest news from
industrial technology wasteland that RIM could be sold in parts. Not surprising as this was obvious at the time of the announcement that JP Morgan and RBC were brought on.
The current theories include:
- Sell the hardware unit to Amazon or Facebook
- Sell the messaging platform to Apple and Google
Hello??????? This is the death of RIM. None of this ever works. If true, RIM is dead on arrival and whatever valiant efforts had been made to turn the ship around with BB10 will have been for naught. Talk about Foreplay!
Yes, I am livid that co-CEOs, management and a crappy board of directors allowed this to happen to another Canadian technology company. It’s something that needs to be analyzed carefully in the halls of Canadian government the next time they offer up SRED tax credits and other bundles of taxpayer joy to the next startup. More IP loss in the works in the True North Strong and Free.
If you don’t believe me that splits don’t work, let’s look at the bipolar disorder of these “happy” breakups.
Most Notable on the Palm saga:
It wasn’t always this complicated. In an earlier life as one combined Palm Inc., the two companies created and dominated the market for handheld devices. But in a saga that involves some of the tech world’s largest personalities and opportunities both seized and lost, Palm split into two companies that are now facing increasingly divergent futures.
Whatever becomes of RIM, if the company can release BB10 flawlessly, this could be the one last chance the company has to stave off the trifecta feast by the piranhas better known as media, markets and consumers.
It’s up to you to decide which part is the caramel and which part is the sundae. God Speed RIM. Dedicated to the people who really fought hard for the enterprise while the two pigs at the top fattened up with corn to prepare for the dark winters to come. Great Job Balsillie and Lazaridis - you earned every penny of your golden parachute while you lined up the rest of your folks and S.W. Ontario for the great economic downfall — simply because you were too arrogant to change.
- RIM May Split Business Apart (phonescoop.com)
- RIM may sell handset business, according to The Sunday Times (theverge.com)
- Beleaguered RIM reportedly considers splitting business in two (macdailynews.com)
- MOBILE: SOFTWARE WON. Plain and Simple. (alexanderbosika.com)
- RIM might sell its handset business to Facebook or Amazon (venturebeat.com)
- RIMour: RIM Is Laying Off Execs As Dust Settles Post-Earnings (techcrunch.com)
- RIM to be split into handset and services, sold off piecemeal? (9to5mac.com)
- RIM Considers Spinning Off Handset Business From Messaging (mobile.slashdot.org)
- RIM may split in two; handsets and messaging software (HEXUS.net)
- RIM may sell handset business, according to The Sunday Times (nextlevelofnews.com)
- Shares drop as RIM begins handing out pink slips (ctv.ca)