How RIM Killed the BlackBerry

Co-CEOs, resistance to innovation hurt company
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2012 9:08 AM CDT
In this Wednesday, May 30, 2012, file photo, three people on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange display their Blackberry smartphones.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(Newser) – Research in Motion is announcing its earnings today, and they're "going to be terrible with a scoop of worse for August," an analyst tells CNET. How did things get so bad for the BlackBerry maker? It started at the top, the Wall Street Journal says in a lengthy piece detailing RIM's woes: For years, the company had two CEOs, each pulling the company in different directions. Their offices were a 10 minute drive apart, and they rarely attended the same meetings.

RIM insists the two-CEO structure worked fine, though both have since been replaced. But that wasn't the company's only woe: Analysts and ex-executives alike say the company put too much faith in its core BlackBerry product, and resisted innovations that didn't fit its paradigm. At an investor meeting 10 years ago, for instance, an investor asked founder and then-co-CEO Mike Lazaridis if the BlackBerry would get a color screen, then just emerging on phones. Lazaridis replied, "Do I need to read my email in color?'

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |