RIM’s half-CEO Lazaridis walks out of BBC interview

“The BBC’s technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones spoke to Mike Lazaridis, the co-chief executive of Research In Motion (RIM), the Canadian firm behind Blackberry,” BBC News reports.

“After questioning him about RIM’s new Playbook tablet, he asked a question for BBC Click about RIM’s problems in India and the Middle East, where governments want to gain greater access to the tight security system used for Blackberry’s business users,” The Beeb reports. “Mr Lazaridis responded by saying the question was unfair, and that the interview was over.”

Full article, with video, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Dead company walking – and publicly cracking from the top down.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]


  1. Couldn’t tell from the video, but I wonder if Lazaridis did the ol’ “Forgot-He-Was-Wearing-A-Lav.-Mic-And-Got-Yanked-Back-To-The-Chair-When-He-Reached-The-End-Of-The-Mic-Cable” trick.

    1. They guy wants out but can bring himself to resign. He’s subconsciously making himself persona non grata to get others to push him out. Preferably with a golden parachute while RIM still has a little cash.

    2. @Derek.

      Gotta disagree… it’s a HUGE problem to the governments. Governments can easily intercept Android and iPhone communications because they work with the phone companies. Because Blackberry circumvents phone companies, the governments want in to the highly secure system.

      The reporter implied that it’s a security issue, when in reality it’s a PRIVACY issue. BB is plain and simply the most secure system for business users.

      Bad reporting and bad judgment.

      1. I agree. If he didn’t know what to say he should have said, “I can’t comment on this Security issue right now. I will get back to you as soon as I can with an informed answer from our [marketing | security | engineering | executive] department. Next question.”

        Instead, he gets puffy and walks out — He’s not entitled to a dime if he can’t even answer for the company about these kinds of very public inquiries.

  2. Not that a CEO needs to be a professional PR flack, but the guy needs to be more mature when it comes to dealing with public interviews.

    If you can’t take the heat, jump off the burning platform.

  3. I’m gonna side with RIM on this one, the language from the BBC was leading and the idiot asking the questions couldn’t rub 2 brain cells together to figure this out. Thought the CEO was very patient with him.

    Not a fan of RIM, but the BBC can F**k off this time.

    1. Agreed. The old bait-&-switch. I hate sleazy reporting tactics. “We would like to ask you a few questions about the new PlayBook tablet.” Did you see Lizardis reaction when the question was first asked? Then he kept pressing! Lizardis did a good job maintaining his composure.

      1. Agreed. I would guess that the initial interview briefing was fairly laid back and friendly with the “security” question not even mentioned.

        From what I see daily in the UK the British press think that this is a productive approach but as Lazaridis appears to be a fairly affable sort of chap I think Cellan-jones thought he could get away with it, even though it has the propensity to do a fair amount of damage to far-eastern attitudes to RIM.

        I would hazard that after that treatment it will be unlikely that the BBC will be getting any more interviews from RIM in the forseeable future.

        There are better way of extracting information from people than this and I, on behalf of the UK apologise for Cellan-Jones’ crassness.

        I should point out that I still think that RIM have got to get their act together but we should not be seen to be pushing the poor old thing into the knacker’s yard, it’ll find its own way there!

  4. in the few interviews like the AllThings D etc. the Rim CEOs have looked befuddled. Over and over again analyst have commented they are confused and irrational.
    (like here couldn’t they have just said something like ‘that’s on ongoing political issue: no comment’ )

    The Rim guys seem to be suffering from mental breakdowns. (unlike Steve jobs who obviously seem to love doing what he’s doing, these Rim guys look as if all this is agony and they would rather be playing with their NHL teams: rim had an easy run and now they actually have to WORK and it’s a pain)

  5. Unlike their American counterparts, British journalists ask tough questions. If you can’t handle a tough question you shouldn’t give an interview to a British journalist. Or probably be a public CEO.

    To be fair, Steve Jobs has walked out of his share of interviews when he didn’t like the questions.

  6. RIM, a piece of turd non-technology company led by a turd CEO. The sense of belonging is tangible, two turds clinging to each other to survive. A dying company with outdated products and a CEO with no PR skills who speaks in tongues and makes no sense whatsoever in his interviews.

    Confused much? Just take a gander at RIM’s Blackberry offerings and tell me if the OS is not a confusing piece of shit. The UI is so unintuitive that I can’t even find the browser to get on the Internet on my friend’s Bold.

    I think he’s gotten rid of that junk now for an Android handset. Still, he’s a rabid anti-Apple hater so I guess confusing technology suits him to a T.

  7. I live a 40 minute drive from RIM and I want these guys to succeed (even though I think the BB is about as user friendly as hydrochloric acid) but this guy has got to go. Even if the PlayBook was an iPad(2) killer this moron would create enough bad will to sink it.

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