RIM CEO’s: “Here, You Take Over”


RIM VIP Parking That’s what I imagine hearing the RIM co-CEO’s saying to newly named replacement CEO (singular) Thorsten Heins as they run for the exit.

  And I love this quote from one of the ex-co’s: “There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognize the need to pass the baton to new leadership. Jim and I went to the Board and told them that we thought that time was now.”  Yeah, just before the car gets totaled hitting the 6 ft. ditch.

I expect Mr. Heins knows it but it’s all over now. The only questions left are what will the end look like and when will it occur? Last week RIM was all over the news as a possible sale to Samsung but the talk was the asking price was way too high.  That gets back to the ex-co’s apparent lack of understanding of the shape of the company.  Or maybe shopping the company was the eye opener.  Maybe having some of their CEO peers laugh at the asking price was shock enough to make them realize it was time to jump ship.

It would be interesting to know what Heins is thinking.  Does he know he is there as a caretaker to try and salvage what little value he can for the poor RIM stock holders, or just a tool for the short sellers?  Or did he catch the RIM Delusion from the ex-co’s and think he really can save the company.  On announcement day the stock dropped another 8.5% from a 12 month high of $70 per share to $15.56.  Strange, you would think it would rise.

Last July I called RIM the new DEC, referring to Digital Equipment Corporation back in the early 90’s.  This is one of the phases we went through also.  Founder Ken Olsen finally stepped down, way too late to save the company, and an insider, Bob Palmer, was named to take over.  In the end he sold the company to Compaq (which later was sold to HP). Let’s start a pool on RIM.

It’s sad that RIM is just another story of a lazy board of directors drinking all the Cool-Aid offered by the CEO’s (or in RIM’s case, co-CEO’s) and not discharging their duty to share holders.

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