Senior RIM Exec Open letter to BlackBerry

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    Posted: 01 July 2011 12:53 AM #16

    It gets even worse for RIMM< Cramer tonight put them into the “sell” block and compared them to Nokia. Yikes.

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    Posted: 01 July 2011 01:13 AM #17

    I think the best play on RIMM is the Jan 2012 put’s at the 30 strike price. It ranged today between 4.65 and 4.80, and only 172 contracts changed hands. 2 of the contracts were mine. 9 lousy Bens i wagered on RIMM’s demise.

    I don’t really care to bottom feed, it was just too good to pass up. I expect them to reach a contract price of 15 bucks or so well before expiry. A three bagger. I like three baggers.

    With the nonsense of today and RIMM’s lousy response, you just have to love that opportunity. And RIMM’s fubar machine is just getting warmed up. The next several days will be carnage. Total carnage. I believe a five bagger is possible, and the time frame is just to rife with possibilities.

    I just hope the janitor knows where the light switch is at the corporate orifice, as when, and if AAPL wins the Nortel auction, Katy, bar the door. And grope for the light switch.

    2 pennies, and 900 bucks. And change.

    [ Edited: 01 July 2011 01:17 AM by MacManus ]

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    Posted: 01 July 2011 01:50 AM #18

    http://business.financialpost.com/2011/06/24/proxy-advisor-urges-rim-ceo-and-chairman-roles-be-split/

    The above from last Friday.

    Now,

    RIMM bows to pressure and names committee to examine leadership roles

    http://business.financialpost.com/2011/06/30/rim-bows-to-pressure-plans-committee-to-examine-leadership-structure/

    They are just flailing now. Appointing a committee will not keep the wolves from the door.

    [ Edited: 01 July 2011 01:57 AM by Red Shirted Ensign ]

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  • Posted: 01 July 2011 05:26 PM #19

    More letters to RIM; employees rally alongside anonymous exec

    It wasn?t just RIM that responded, however ? we received dozens of emails from current and former RIM employees detailing their stories, and essentially all agreeing with the open letter that was published on BGR. Among the correspondence were several new ?open letters? written by RIM employees…

    This is a public relations nightmare. A snowball gaining more and more weight and speed as it rolls along.

    I’ll be abstracting two of the letters, below.

    [ Edited: 01 July 2011 06:37 PM by FalKirk ]      
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    Posted: 01 July 2011 05:28 PM #20

    FalKirk - 01 July 2011 08:26 PM

    More letters to RIM; employees rally alongside anonymous exec

    It wasn?t just RIM that responded, however ? we received dozens of emails from current and former RIM employees detailing their stories, and essentially all agreeing with the open letter that was published on BGR. Among the correspondence were several new ?open letters? written by RIM employees…

    A complete disaster, from which the two-headed monster may not be able to survive. Nor should they (it) survive.

    This is a public relations nightmare. A snowball gaining more and more weight and speed and it rolls along.

    I’ll be abstracting two the the letters, below.

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  • Posted: 01 July 2011 05:48 PM #21

    LETTER 1

    I was an employee at RIM for a year and a half. I worked in the legal and business affairs departments…

    NOTE: It was my intention to abstract this letter, but it’s just a bunch of bitching and whining, the kind that goes on at every big company. I’m sure people will read it and cluck their tongues at RIM’s inefficiency, bureaucracy and autocratic nature. Believe me, every big company has problems like this (and employees like this letter writer).

    Here’s the thing. All of this malicious gossip - which may or may not be true - is getting printed and read and over-analyzed by EVERYONE. What a horror story this is turning out to be. Every slight and petty indignity will now be blown up and exposed to the press as an example of the problems within RIM.

    Please understand. Every word of this letter might be gospel. I do not wish to disparage the letter writer. My point is that no company can look good when under this kind of intense scrutiny.

    LETTER 2

    It can take weeks of time to make small changes, and months to make major ones. Whenever something goes wrong (incident, problems, even non-customer impacting) a lengthy and involved process of finger pointing starts, and without fail, a new process is born.

    Again, I worked for several large companies (including the Federal Government) and all of these things could have been said about them or most any large company.

    AT&T: Internally, there?s a large joke that we should be called ?RIM-T&T?.  A lot of our senior leadership has come from there, and they come in with ideas from an old, stodgy, process driven industry.

    I heard someone telling this story around the office. Their sister went in to a local carrier store to buy a new BlackBerry, replacing an Android phone they didn?t like. They walked in with $400 in hand and wanted a BlackBerry, and walked out with an iPhone. When the sister asked the carrier sales rep for a BlackBerry, they talked her out of a BlackBerry by telling her how bad they are, then offered her an iPhone for $39. How could the sister resist, after having the Blackberry trashed (slow, useless, hard to use), and then a price like that for a competing product dangled in front of her? When our only avenue to selling our devices is through a ?neutral? 3rd party, and is just as happy to sell someone a competitors product as ours, we are at their mercy.

    Now THAT is a very relevant anecdote. That is exactly the kind of thing that sank Apple in the 80’s, is apparently sinking Windows Phone 7 today and will most certainly sink RIM tomorrow.

    Marketing: My friends love to poke me and make fun of our ads. Our marketing is boring, our ads are plain, and completely uninteresting. The whole campaign around the Playbook seems to be ?IT DOES FLASH!  LOOK!? ? but honestly, my mother doesn?t know or care about that. She wants to know ?can I play Angry Birds??.

    Perfect. Flash is not a feature. It’s an anchor that Apple’s competitors have voluntarily hung around their necks.

    RIM is going to collapse. Everything they do is open to scrutiny and no one can survive that. If these people who are writing the e-mails and letters are sincere in their desire to help RIM, then they are naive, deluded, foolish, unthinking - you pick the adjective. This is not helping anyone. At all. In any way.

    This can only end in a death spiral. The only questions now are how fast will they collapse and how soon will it be over.

    [ Edited: 01 July 2011 05:51 PM by FalKirk ]      
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    Posted: 01 July 2011 05:53 PM #22

    adamthompson3232 - 01 July 2011 08:19 PM

    Wow. Secretaries strike back! This is pathetic.

    http://m.bgr.com/2011/07/01/more-letters-to-rim-employees-rally-alongside-anonymous-exec/


    Man, this reminds me so much of my old workplace. Everyone was labeled A,B,C, or D. The A’s were never promoted because obviously they were very good at their jobs and the company could not afford for them to be moved. The B’s worked real hard to be A’s so obviously they could not be moved. The C’s and D’s were easy choices to promote because they spent the most time in the office building relationships with their superiors antway. One thing about Apple, it appears they encourage people to propose new thinking. Many managers will not make a decision because of fear of making the “wrong” decision. I can tell you first hand that people like decision makers. (*As long as they are right most of the time*) rolleyes

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    Posted: 01 July 2011 06:04 PM #23

    Nuclear meltdown in Canada.

    The initial letter listed all the relevant details, but one of the core problems is these two founder-CEOs believe there is nothing wrong. The media and blogosphere are treating them unfairly. They’ve grown this company from scratch to a multi-billion dollar giant. They’re in transition, but still making money and will soon continue on their massive growth trajectory.

    I truly think they do not realize the trouble they are in. They’re like a quarterback that has been blind-sided so hard that he’s flat on his back, unable to get up and about to be carried off on a stretcher. But in his mind he’s still in the game calling the plays.

    Dead men walking.

         
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    Posted: 01 July 2011 06:34 PM #24

    If he was blindsided, wouldn’t he be face down? Sorry Drew, the SA in me can’t help himself sometimes. tongue laugh

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  • Posted: 01 July 2011 09:45 PM #25

    FalKirk - 01 July 2011 08:48 PM

    This can only end in a death spiral. The only questions now are how fast will they collapse and
    how soon will it be over.

    RIMM has the cash, talent, and enough inertia to survive.  All it will take is a strong leader with a vision for the future, and the guts to eliminate/replace dead weight.

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    Posted: 01 July 2011 09:59 PM #26

    I also don’t think RIM is doomed (necessarily). 

    Apple was in much worse shape when SJ took over.  There’s still time for RIM to survive, it’s just that they utterly missed the signs that Michael Mace _brilliantly_ pointed out:  link here, I found this via Gruber from Daring Fireball

    Relevancy, RIM ever being what it once was, that’s a whole other story.  RIM’s very existence at stake, that’s a little premature.  Yes they’re basically making all the wrong moves, but so was Apple before the right people came along.

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  • Posted: 02 July 2011 12:11 AM #27

    Mav - 02 July 2011 12:59 AM

    I also don’t think RIM is doomed (necessarily). 

    Apple was in much worse shape when SJ took over.

    Please don’t use Apple as an example of a company that can recover. They are the exception that proves the rule. The one-in-a-million long-shot that beat all the odds. The analogy I use is the 1942 Maple Leafs who came back from a 3 game deficit to win the Stanley Cup, 4 games to 3. So it CAN be done. But it never happened before 1942 and it hasn’t happened since.

    I know RIM and they are no 1942 Stanley Cup Champions. They are no phoenix rising from their own ashes. They are no Apple. And they have no Steve Jobs to lead them from the dessert and back to the promised land.

    Gregg Thurman - 02 July 2011 12:45 AM
    FalKirk - 01 July 2011 08:48 PM

    This can only end in a death spiral. The only questions now are how fast will they collapse and how soon will it be over.

    RIMM has the cash…

    That three billion is going to melt away like snow on a hot stove.

    Gregg Thurman - 02 July 2011 12:45 AM

    ...talent…

    RIM is a talented PHONE company. But the platforms that are winning today are COMPUTER companies. RIM has all its talent in the wrong places.

    Gregg Thurman - 02 July 2011 12:45 AM

    ...and enough inertia to survive.

    RIM’s management has inertia, I’ll give you that. But RIM’s sales have momentum and it’s all downwards.

    I’ll admit that I may have been using hyperbole when I said RIM was in a death spiral. Hyperbole really helps one spice up one’s writing.  LOL

    Having said that, I’m not at all sure that I was being hyperbolic. RIM’s problem now has nothing to do with the normal rules of business and everything to do with the all too human tendency to panic.

    It’s like a bank run. The bank would be fine if everybody just went about their normal business. But once depositors lose confidence in the liquidity of the bank, they all insist on withdrawing their funds immediately, thus making the rumors of the banks’ demise a self-fullfiling prophecy.

    Now let’s take a good hard look at where RIM is at. They give an earnings warning. Their stock drops. They STILL don’t meet earnings. Their stock drops some more. The two headed monster that RIM calls their CEO tries to laugh their problems off. Investors call for a management reorganization and investor lawsuits ensue. Investors have lost confidence.

    But it gets worse. RIM’s problems are so major that they start to hit the news. Then people from RIM start writing open letters keeping negative RIM stories coming, never giving them a chance to recover from their wounds.

    And now it really gets bad. Not only were RIM’s sales dropping before, but now they are going to fall off a cliff. No one is going to want to buy a RIM product. No Verizon or other third party vendor is going to want to sell a RIM product.

    But wait! There’s light at the end of the tunnel. RIM has new products from the end-of-life phone line coming out. But they’re running late. And they’re going to miss the holiday shopping season. Not good.

    But wait! RIM has a brand new product with a brand new operating system. Coming in 2012. Yikes.

    Turns out that that light at the end of a tunnel was an oncoming freight train.

    So here’s what you’ve got. No one wants to own their stock, no one wants to sell their phones, no one wants to buy their phones. The solvency and the good business practices of the company are irrelevant.

    It’s a bank run.

    [ Edited: 02 July 2011 01:54 AM by FalKirk ]      
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    Posted: 02 July 2011 01:45 AM #28

    Gregg Thurman - 02 July 2011 12:45 AM

    RIMM has the cash, talent, and enough inertia to survive.  All it will take is a strong leader with a vision for the future, and the guts to eliminate/replace dead weight.

    That’s ALL it will take? Just look at how quickly the cell phone empires of Motorola & Nokia faded. They may not “die” in an existential sense, but they are ghosts of their former selves.

    In any case, does anyone believe RIM will make radical changes rather than simply shuffling executive titles? Do you think Google has fundamentally changed directions after changing the titles of the triumvirate?

    What would have happened if Jobs had been demoted from CEO and stayed with Apple back in the 80s? Would he have been able to develop NeXT at Apple? Or would he and Apple have muddled along, never experiencing the death & rebirth of the Phoenix?

         
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    Posted: 02 July 2011 02:25 AM #29

    FalKirk - don’t ignore the differences in financial situations either.  Apple was reporting big losses.  $2B in cash would have only lasted so long.  RIM is still profitable.  You can’t overlook this.  But read on!

    Does what I said mean I think RIM will survive?  Nope!  It’s clear to anyone that if the co-CEOs and senior management stay in charge, RIM’s doom is only a matter of when.  And there never has been a Steve Jobs type within the company who could return to save them.

    But there’s still an outside chance IF a number of huge institutional changes that are unlikely to happen, happen.  RIM is no Apple, but it is also no Palm financially speaking.  Their window is small but it hasn’t yet shut.  Maybe I’m being an “optimist” but I think it’s still a little early to mourn RIM.  Hell, even Moto is hanging on - by a thread, but they’re still here.

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    Posted: 02 July 2011 02:36 AM #30

    FalKirk - 02 July 2011 03:11 AM

    That three billion is going to melt away like snow on a hot stove.

    Nortel better cash that $770 million check in a hurry before it bounces!  smile