Senior RIM exec tells all in open letter as beleaguered company crumbles around him

“There’s no question Research In Motion is in the midst of a major transitional period,” Jonathan S. Geller reports for BGR.

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, from walking around in fresh Canadian air to swimming madly while circling the bowl.

“The thing is, RIM has always been a company controlled by two people — Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis,” Geller reports. “For all the things that have worked, they have missed the boat countless times and we’re now seeing the results.”

Geller reports, “We have received an open letter to Mike and Jim from a high-level RIM employee (whose identity we have verified), and in an amazingly honest and passionate plea, this letter gives fascinating insights into what RIM must fix, and fast.”

Read the letter here.

MacDailyNews Take: Letters like this often closely precede a company’s implosion. As if DCW RIM needed any more kisses of death.

Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.Steve Jobs, June 14, 2005

Related articles:
RUMOR: Beleaguered RIM axes 10-inch PlayBook tablet – June 28, 2011
RIM BlackBerry developers defecting to Apple’s revolutionary Phone – June 27, 2011
Beleaguered RIM slashes PlayBook production plans – June 22, 2011
Beleaguered RIM begins axing jobs in Waterloo – June 21, 2011
RIM half-CEOs: What did you know and when did you know it? – June 20, 2011
Former RIM employee: Company ‘brims with hubris’; ‘culturally blind’ to consumers – June 17, 2011
Beleaguered RIM misses on revenue, announces layoffs – June 16, 2011


  1. “Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. – Steve Jobs”

    Geeze, I’m hoping that one doesn’t come back to bite Steve in the ass for a *really* long time! =8^O

  2. RIM’s malaise summarised:

    – We need to clone Steve Jobs, and fast.
    – Stop mucking about with 10 flavours of the same handset and focus on one or two the public really wants.
    – Stop genuflecting to the carriers, the legal department, the marketing department, and listen to your mother. She knows what she wants and it’s not a PlayBook.
    – You’ve got to shed your Ballmer persona. Don’t keep mocking the iPhone – this isn’t 2007 any more.
    – Fire that asshat designer on the executive floor who’s been with the company for 20 years but goofs around making incremental changes to BBOS 6 which remains as shiteous as ever.

    1. This guy should be running the company, but Balsillie and Lazaridis are to busy playing hide the sausage and giving each other the wrap-around to do what’s best for the company they built based on technology they ripped off from somebody else.

  3. Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. – Steve Jobs, June 14, 2005

    My 95 year old Mother thinks that way. She came around to that way of thinking last year, when she turned 94.

  4. That’s an amazingly powerful letter, written by a person who can cut through the BS.

    Let’s not gloat too much if RIM collapses…real people with kids and mortgages will be unemployed as a result. The big dogs will always make out OK, but they will be taking a lot of good people down with them.

    1. I agree. You can really feel the frustration with the short-sighted, insulated, uninspiring leadership at RIM.

      The wacko stuff they’ve been saying to the press for the last 4 years is a symptom of their delusions.

    2. Is it OK to hope that certain politicians lose their jobs, irrespective of the kids and mortgages?

      Businesses fail and others arise to take their place. It’s called creative destruction. I have a copy of Issue No. 1 of “UNIX Today” from 1983 or so when I started working in the field. Every single minicomputer vendor from that time is gone except for IBM and HP. Most of the PC vendors from that era are too – Dec, Wang, TI, Eagle, Columbia, Compaq, etc.

      1. Is it OK to hope that certain politicians lose their jobs, irrespective of the kids and mortgages?


        They will almost instantly get jobs as lobbyists or as similar plagues upon the citizens.

  5. I’ve written just such a letter. Two months later, hundreds were laid off. The department I was in still has not resurfaced, and it probably never will. Ossification is the status quo in the upstairs offices.

  6. RIM employee, get out there now, quickly. People will never change, your CEOs are no exception. Get out while there are someone else still wanting you. Go and talk to headhunters before they will eventually turn cold on you.

  7. I understand MDN’s take, and its investment in the whole DCW thing, but…

    The RIM employee’s letter deserves a more thoughtful assessment than it got from MDN. In addition to be a painfully well argued case to change RIM, it pays the kind of respect to Apple that is probably widespread in the industry, but can never be publicly uttered. This guy (the letter’s author) gets it; Beavis and Butthead at the top of RIM are clueless.

    I’ve loved my Apple products for almost 30 years, and will continue to do so as long as they embody the qualities that make them special. But I don’t hate RIM (well, I have to say that the “amateur hour is over” campaign had me seething) and there is a place in the world for a well designed and supported version of what they do. I hope somebody steps up to do the kind of things that Steve Jobs did to Apple in 1997, gets them focused and allows them to be a respected (albeit smaller than before) competitor in the smartphone space. In such a world, the consumer is the real beneficiary.

    My two cents.

  8. I don’t see a problem. The letter is just someone complaining. Keep the two CEO’s as is. Let them go out and publicly put down Apple on a regular basis. Continue with several models that looks exactly the same and has one new feature (blue button instead of red on one of the keys) or maybe less and call it a new model. Release a new one every month. That sounds much better to me.

  9. Egomaniac Balsillie, pretending to be a grownup, fiddled while RIM burned; he was more interested in acquiring a Hamilton NHL team. Lazaridis is a moron for having a “co-CEO” like Balsillie, never mind being satisfied with such a stupid title.

    RIM is in such dire straits that it’s likely both would gain more in its slow death than pretending it can ever catch up.

    Everyone knows it, from both those clowns to the bottom of the collapsing house of cards.

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