More letters to beleaguered RIM as employees rally alongside anonymous exec

“BGR published an open letter to Research In Motion yesterday from an anonymous high-level RIM executive who begged for senior management to take notice of all of the issues within RIM,” Jonathan S. Geller reports for BGR.

“The exec explained how the company should make some changes to focus on the talent and potential within RIM, and also to focus on end users instead of carriers,” Geller reports. “After we published the article, RIM responded. It wasn’t pretty, and it really didn’t address a single point that was made by the original plea. It wasn’t just RIM that responded, however — we received dozens of emails from current and former RIM employees detailing their stories, and essentially all agreeing with the open letter that was published on BGR.”

Geller reports, “Among the correspondence were several new “open letters” written by RIM employees, and the BGR team has gone through them at length. There were nearly a dozen gems amid the emails we received, and while we may address various highlights in the coming weeks, we can’t publish them all at this time. We thank each and every person who took the time to email us with their thoughts, but there were two in particular that stood out from the crowd. One is from a former RIM employee and the other is from a current employee, and both sources have been vetted”

Read the full, unedited letters here.

MacDailyNews Take: Besmirch In Action.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Research In Motion succumbs to shareholder pressure; agrees to ‘study’ half-CEO roles – July 1, 2011
Senior RIM exec tells all in open letter as beleaguered company crumbles around him – June 30, 2011
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. That open letter that “deep throat” composed was dead on. It shouldn’t matter who he is- it should only matter that his observations, criticisms and most important; his suggestions are acted upon. Unfortunately- after reading RIM’s response- they didn’t get it.

      What made you want to finish reading Deep Throat’s letter was that it wasn’t the typical rant. He was brutally honest and he even spelled out a recovery plan. Whoever he is- if he does lose his job or quits- he has a bright future with some other company that deserves him… or her.

      Have a safe 4th of July everybody.

  1. I’ve read the report and the letter earlier. Much as RIM sound like a place where creativity go to get choked, I also felt the letter writers were bitching a bit too much.

    I’ve worked for a few fortune 25 companies, and it’s often like this. Most employees feel they know more than the executive team. Everybody feels their fellow workers are irreplaceable and under-appreciated/utilised.

    Things aren’t so black and white always. One of the point mentioned that he/she was let go due to asking too many questions. Does that sound very plausible? From the tone of the letter, it seemed more like a case of subordination. In same the sentence he introduced the boss, they introduced “her BFF” which had nothing to do with anything in making the point. It just sounded more like a personal attack, which the writer then tried to soften later.

    Another point, maybe the second letter, the writer was frustrated that RIM wasn’t sharing their secret projects and strategies with everyone and their spouses. I think the writer also longed for the good old days, when things worked with the older OS, crappy browsers, and klunky keyboards. Guess what, that kind of sentiment caused the current downfall.

    I’m not supporting/defending RIM and their seemingly blind CEOs, but these letters don’t expose any serious holes and lack of credibility of the company. I’m also not dismissing the possible grievances from these writers, apparently they are proud RIM employees who are expressing their frustrations more than anything else. But reading more into this, and making this newsworthy is where my objection lies.

    I think the writers wouldn’t even survive the job interviews at Apple. If there’s anything to glean from all this, Apple probably would do well to never even consider buying RIM and integrate their teams into their fold. Better MS pick them up, I predict a perfect match.

    1. “Most employees feel they know more than the executive team.”

      And isn’t that right 99.9% of the time? There’s a reason why the term “CEO” has become synonymous with “clueless”.

      When a business arrogantly releases utterly shit products like the Playbook, while delusionally expected them to be smash hits, it means that business has collapsed into a cesspool of cliques and politicking where any work at all barely gets done, creativity is strangled to death, and the whole operation exists solely so the “in kids” can go around power-tripping and forcing minions execute their wonderful ideas. Or in otherwords, it means the corporate culture has turned into poison and the executive team have dissapeared inside their own assholes.

      It baffles me how you could think it doesn’t seem plausible that in a broken company like RIM, where the inmates are very clearly running the asylum, somebody could be demoted for asking too many questions. Have you even seen the Playbook? It’s a deeply questionable product to say the least. There are only two explanations for it’s design. 1, nobody asked questions during its development(Such as, “it has to be tethered to a Blackberry? What the FUCK?”). 2, RIM employees do question the executive team’s awful decisions, but they are punished for it. Which sounds more plausible to you?

      I think you should re-read both letters in detail because it seems like you just skimmed them. Like how you don’t know what the point of introducing the “BFF” was? The point is that if you dare to ask why your titles and duties suddenly change out of the blue, your boss and her clique will gang up on and threaten to fire you. The “and her clique” part is especially important because it means you’ll have a very hard time getting the boss reprimanded as her running dogs vouch for her and against you. You’ll also have to be very careful about who you talk to. There was a point to introducing the BFF, if you’re willing to see it.

      1. 1. I’ve been fortunate enough to received many promotions at each of my jobs. Each time, I have noticed that the perspective changes with insights and added responsibilities. What seemed like an obscure and chaotic notion from the ground view, often turn out to be a credible strategy from the top. Bigger picture helps which not every employee is privy to, nor needs to be.

        When you mentioned 99.9%, I’m assuming Apple is among the 0.01%; because certainly it runs on the CEO-knows-best mantra. Now you could say RIM co-CEOs were found lazy and unprepared for the iPhone onslaught; but you can hardly fault them as iPhone really was a disruptive technology. It has already left a thermonuclear crater like aftereffect on the market in less than 4 years. Not many can survive those, and certainly big businesses like RIM can’t just pack up and change their entire strategy overnight (or in a quarter or 8). Apple thought long and hard, shrewd as Jobs and his team are, for almost a decade, and then acted decisively yet like a startup. RIM had a different long term growth plan involving BBM servers etc. while expanding slowly overseas. No one had predicted the touch based consumer gizmo explosion that sneaked inside the corporate boardrooms, and RIM couldn’t just write an OS (and a platform with API maintenance) that’s touch capable from ground-up overnight. Insane expectations.

        Their peons can complain in emails all they want, a company of their size can’t just forgo their existing model in short notice to compete in a new world order without even having a notion if that paradigm is here to stay (ask Apple about the FCP X fiasco). And Apple is a tough opponent that offers a running target to keep up (insert your own puck analogy here).

        It was easier for Google as they came after the onslaught and reaped benefit from the iPhone aftermath (and by ripping other people’s IPs, it seems). But wasn’t easy for Windows, Palm, Nokia, and RIM. Expecting RIM to do better than how they fared, in that regard, is maybe expecting a bit too much. Not many can go head to head with Jobs and Co.

        2. I had actually read the emails instead of casual glance; however that was hours before MDN’s posting it here. I confess of not re-reading the emails before commenting. It wasn’t so much as the authors notion of introducing a BFF character, but calling their bosses colleague a BFF that seemed like a snide remark. Usually after those, credibility for impartiality takes a hit.

        This is already a lengthy response that’s more appropriate for a blog space than a comment. I apologise for that (wish I was better at being brief) and would like to move on.

  2. ‘Apple probably would do well to never even consider buying RIM and integrate their teams into their fold.’
    Amen to that. The Rim train wreck looks to be plunging into a bottomless pit – there’ll be nothing worth rescuing. ‘Cept patents of course.

  3. I recently reread “Peter’s Principles” about business organizations. The basic point of the book is that good managers tend to keep getting promoted until they reach their own level of incompetence. At this level, they actually become obstacles to any further efficiency. RIM seems to be be an excellent example of this in action, starting with the two CEOs. (Who also remind me of the “pointy-headed boss” in Dilbert.)

    1. One of the co-CEOs is the founder. Does that sound like any other company we know?

      The other co-CEO has been there since the beginning.

      Not exactly Peter Principle at work.

      (And yes, I know the Steve Jobs story and how it differs from RIM co-CEO – Jobs as founder & CEO, fired, returned, redeemed, blah, blah, blah. )

  4. the RIM firestorm has now been lit, and nothing can stop it. all the sh*t is going to hit the fan, in public, in a self-feeding inferno. the two co-CEO’s won’t make it to the end of the year. they may not even make it to the end of August.

  5. There will always be discontent within an organization. Some of the discontent is legitimate, some is misinformed or misguided. I suspect that Apple has its own share of dissenters – you cannot have a policy of saying “no” to many good ideas in order to focus on a few excellent ones without creating frustration.

    The key is to maintain sufficient communication within the organization to relate the corporate vision and guiding principles and objectives from the top down. And to capture and respond to the concerns and ideas emanating from the bottom up. A lot of the frustration can be relieved by giving the little guys a voice and a forum.

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