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New RIM CEO: We Must Execute Better

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
1/23/2012
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Just hours into his new job, BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins took to YouTube Inc. to talk about his plans for the Canadian BlackBerry maker. (See RIM Co-Chairs Step Down.)

In the video, the first area he singled out for improvement was execution.

"Yes, we have to get better at execution," said Heins. "And make sure that once we say a product is defined that we move decisively into execution mode and get the product done in good quality, on time and also at good cost."

"We need to get a bit more disciplined in our own processes," he added.

Heins also said he wanted to reach out more to RIM's consumer customers. While he described the enterprise as "a strong fortress that we own," he said he wanted to get closer to consumers, where a lot of RIM's growth has come from recently.

"I want to strengthen this by bringing some really good marketing expertise in," he said.

Heins will also lead RIM through its transition this year to a new platform, BlackBerry 10.

"Needless to say, we gotta ship on time, gotta ship with good quality, and need to make it a blow-the-socks-off experience for all of our customers, be it enterprise or consumer," he said. "It's a huge transition. We're rebuilding a whole new platform for RIM for the next decade."

Not different, just better
Heins's comments did not suggest that he was devising dramatic plans for radical changes at RIM. Rather, his words indicated that he would continue on RIM's current strategic path, but implement the strategy better.

MKM Partners analyst Michael Genovese came to a similar conclusion in a research note issued Monday morning about the company's leadership changes.

"We caution investors from reading too much into the changes. The new CEO, the Chairwoman and increasingly influential director/investor Prem Watska have already been quoted in the press saying the company's strategic direction is set and Heins' mandate is to execute the existing plan."

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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