September 18, 2020

By Jessica Martin

Heavily criticized. Publicly scrutinized. Reputation downsized.
Changes needed to be made after Research in Motion’s disastrous performance in 2011 landed with a thud on the doorstep of 2012, calling for a desperate revamping of the company in order to gain back everything that was lost. Canada’s premier high-tech company had to prove and reassure everyone — consumers and investors alike — they were willing to make changes in order to meet and beat the challenges facing them.
Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie resigned as RIM’s co-chief executive officers and co-chairs of the board, allowing for Thorstein Heins, who has worked at RIM for the last four years, to step in as the new sole chief executive officer.
It’s easy to nag from the sidelines, point out flaws and say boot out the guys who “caused” all of the problems, but what Lazaridis and Balsillie have done is phenomenal and the impact they have had is huge. Building a globally successful company and employing thousands of people, they have contributed greatly to the economic wealth of the region and the country.
Mistakes were made but it’s time to move on. Many large corporations go through a restructuring and the change in leadership gives RIM the fresh start they need. Reversing the trouble with late product launches and general instability doesn’t happen overnight, but with time, energy and critical decision-making, RIM can return to the powerhouse it was.
Along with the NHL Players Association, RIM recently unveiled the new Player’s Playbook campaign, an online video series that follows the off-ice adventures of five different NHL players, all recorded and edited using the Playbook.
Since it was launched in April 2011, the Playbook has battled Apple’s iPad but ultimately lost. However, getting NHL players to endorse the product, including Toronto Maple Leaf Joffrey Lupul, is a start.
Although shares have plunged and many investors have given up hope, RIM is still profitable with 75 million users worldwide, a strong global brand and a wide range of products.
However, with the future of the company in jeopardy and all eyes watching, Heins has a tough road ahead.
We wish him and the company all the best.