It is a pretty big change for Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to step down. During the conference call this morning RIM’s new chairman of the board Barbara pointed out that the appointment of Thorsten Heins was supposedly came from Mike and Jim. That is leading some to think that he is essentially a puppet for RIM’s previous CEOs but it is way too early to judge. On the other hand there are some things that he has made very clear.
- He thinks RIM is on the right course for success and does not need drastic changes to the strategy Jim & Mike started when they decided to acquire QNX 18 months ago
- He drives a BMW motorcycle which is part of his German heritage (I respect him just for that!)
- Thorsten believes that RIM needs to double down on consumers with marketing targeted towards them which they started with the Be Bold campaign. Hopefully a new CMO will be selected soon.
The most important part of Thorsten’s announcements as CEO was the fact that he plans on streamlining the R&D, prototyping, and release schedules. That means RIM will no longer try to innovate during the release cycle which is what has caused them delays in the past. He plans on enforcing accountability and deadlines and confirmed that PlayBook OS 2.0 is coming in February. I agree that this is one of the biggest changes that needs to happen at RIM. They need to drive changes to market faster than ever before. They can no longer do their old 18 months from announcement to release cycle. They need to deliver consistant solid results and focus on their strengths.
Hopefully Thorsten is the right guy to deliver on RIM’s promise! He definitely will have a busy 2012.