Business, Economics and Jobs

Thorsten Heins, new Blackberry CEO, pleads for patience


RIM president and CEO Thorsten Heins speaks during the Research in Motion annual general meeting in Waterloo, Ont., on July 10, 2012.



The man charged with reviving Blackberry and Research in Motion asked for patience from shareholders today as he addressed his first annual meeting since taking over in January.

Thorsten Heins, formerly of Siemens, said Blackberry 10 will transform RIM into a “lean, mean, hunting machine” when it’s introduced in early 2013, Reuters reported.

“I am not satisfied with the performance of the company over the past year,” Heins told investors in Waterloo, Ont., RIM’s home base. “Many of you are frustrated with the time it has taken us to make our way through the transition.”

As consumers continually flock to the Apple iPhone and Google Android devices, RIM’s stock price continues to plummet.

After today’s meeting, RIM lost nearly 4 percent and traded as low as $7.36 on the Toronto Stock Exchange; it’s 52-week high was $32.71.

Heins replaced Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie as CEO in January, and faced numerous questions from shareholders regarding his plans for the future.

More from GlobalPost: Blackberry-maker RIM abandoning consumer market

Shareholder Vic Alboini of Jaguar Financial said the board needs new blood and radical strategies, The Toronto Star said.

“The problem is their whole strategy is to focus on one product,” Alboini told The Star. “What happens if BB10 doesn’t work out the way you want it to? What do you do then?”

Blackberry sales dropped 41 percent in the last quarter, and will face an even steeper climb back in the new year.

Apple, Google and Windows are expected to unveil new versions of their products before BB10 debuts, The Associated Press reported.

Despite the grumbling among shareholders, all 10 board members were re-elected.

To help absorb losses, RIM is cutting 5,000 jobs – 30 percent of its workforce.

Blackberry, long lauded by business and government for its security, will offer greater multimedia capabilities and more apps with its long-delayed revision.

The delay is designed to coincide with newer high-speed mobile networks and to ensure the device’s software runs properly.

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