RIM shares drop as marketing chief leaves company on eve of supposed PlayBook launch

“Research In Motion Ltd., the maker of Blackberry smartphones, said Friday its chief marketing officer Keith Pardy has decided to leave the company for personal reasons,” Phred Dvorak reports for The Wall Street Journal.

MacDailyNews Take: iPad 2, killer.

Dvorak reports, “RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, said Mr. Pardy will continue to help the company over a six-month transition period. The departure comes weeks ahead the expected roll-out of RIM’s PlayBook tablet, one of the most significant product launches in the company’s history.”

MacDailyNews Take: PlayBook? PlayDead is more like it. Except RIM won’t be faking that.

Read more in the full article here.

In a companion WSJ article, Dave Kansas reports, “PlayBook will arrive after iPad 2’s launch, which came with much ballyhoo – including a surprise appearance from Steve Jobs – earlier this week. The lower price point for the sleeker iPad 2 is already causing havoc for Motorola Mobility, maker of the already released Xoom. Its shares are down from a high of 36.34 in January to 26.55 today.”

Kansas reports, “Mr. Pardy says he will spend six months in a transition period, but his departure on the eve of the PlayBook launch is rattling investors today.”

MacDailyNews Take: Blood in the water. The fleeing has begun. Shares of RIM are currently down 3%.


  1. …”Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear, “Our product is shit….”

    He likely quite because that is EXACTLY what he wanted, but couldn’t, say…

  2. He probably got too stressed out about the impossible task of marketing vapor PlayBook against the reality of iPad 2. A no-win scenario. He chose NOT to “play.”

  3. I find it very strange that investors are being rattled by the marketing guy leaving. It’s not like he’s the only one at RIM handling the marketing. I’m pretty sure he’s not calling journalists, placing ads himself, designing the web page, etc.

    It’s also funny that he’s leaving “on the eve of the launch”. Um, has an actual launch date been set?

    1. The “boss” of marketing leaving so suddenly could mean there is an internal dispute about (or difficulty with) how to position and sell an upcoming product. Or it could be totally unrelated to PlayBook. I don’t think it takes too much to “rattle” RIMM investors these days.

  4. RIM’s desperately needing press and internet hits. Lacking anything meaningful about products to report, they are now throwing people to the sharks one at a time for daily relevancy. 😉

  5. Pardy can see the world-historic embarrassment coming. In order to have a salvageable career, he must perform the technicality of leaving before the official launch.

  6. It’s RIM and HP that will keep Apple on their toes in the coming years.

    The Playbook and TouchPad will make the Apple products better for us all. Hardware and software integration are not optional anymore.

    Microsoft and Google are already sucking wind in the face of the Verizon iPhone 4, the iPad 2, and the Mac lineup. All have ecosystems, all have hardware and software integration, and all have class leading design and materials.

  7. Has anybody outside RIMM actually used a Playbook? I see they have given demos at events, but has it actually been used by somebody NOT trained to avoid its weaknesses or parts of its user experience that are complete? I find it hard to believe that this product is going to ship anytime soon, and if it does, it is going to be a complete mess.

  8. Apple is going to let all it’s rivals fall all over themselves scrambling like Samsung announced today (to revamp Galaxy Tab) for the next months to a year to address iPad 2 then when they’ve sweated and are all ready….

    Steve “here’s iPad 3 with retina display, iOS 5… ” and see them collapse again.

  9. “Motorola Mobility…shares are down from a high of 36.34 in January to 26.55 today.”

    That’s a drop of approximately 27% in about two months. In Wall Street, that’s considered a free fall. It appears that we have two ways to make money in the stock market – buy APPL or short its would-be competitors before their next “iOS killer” product release.

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