Half-CEOs claim ‘RIM’s foundation is very strong’ as shareholders grumble

“Shareholders who were hoping for a Steve Jobs moment were disappointed at the annual shareholders meeting of Research In Motion Ltd. in Waterloo on Tuesday,” Michael Lewis reports for TheSpec.

MacDailyNews Take: Then you bought into the wrong company, RIM shareholders.

Lewis reports, “‘I was hoping for a pleasant surprise,’ said Talmage Adams, who manages a small fund of RIM investments. He said Jobs, the chief executive of rival Apple Inc., would have used the high-profile meeting as an excuse for at least one splashy announcement.”

MacDailyNews Take: Jobs doesn’t make “splashy announcements” at shareholder meetings. Hoping for something that’s never happened, and certainly won’t for RIM, is not a sound investment strategy.

Lewis reports, “Instead, RIM’s co-chief executives Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis delivered a boilerplate summary of RIM’s achievements. ‘RIM’s foundation is very strong,’ Balsillie said.”

MacDailyNews Take: If you believe that, you must be a RIM shareholder.

“‘We’ve faced some challenges,’ Lazaridis told the shareholders, who have watched RIM’s share value fall by about 60 per cent this year as the company lost market share to Apple’s iPhone and smartphones running Google Inc.’s Android software,” Lewis reports. “Lazaridis said the company’s shift to a new architecture for its mobile devices has taken longer than anticipated, adding that RIM is very close to achieving initial carrier certification for new phones that are expected late this summer.”

MacDailyNews Take: Promises, promises, promises. That’s all a Dead COmpany Walking ever has to offer until the inevitable arrives.

Lewis reports, “Balsillie also defended RIM’s business market performance as it faces an aggressive challenge from Apple. ‘We understand enterprise customers better than anyone,’ he said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Then you must understand that companies are tossing out your antiquated BlackBerries for iPhones left and right. The only thing that companies still sticking their employees with BlackBerries are getting is lapped by their iPhone-wielding competitors.

Lewis reports, “Another shareholder, a technology sales person, said during the meeting’s question period that he was disappointed when he took a test run of a PlayBook at a Best Buy store, saying marketing and product placement is lacking. Lazaridis said RIM is used to marketing through carrier partners around the world, but is less familiar with the retail side. He said RIM will get better at it.”

MacDailyNews Take: Too late, dummy. RIM’s half-CEOs are lying or dreaming or both.

Read more in the full article here.

Alastair Sharp reports for Reuters, “Research In Motion executives deflected criticism from investors who complained the BlackBerry maker has been mismanaged and marketed poorly as rivals Apple and Google steal its market share… ‘You’re letting Apple and Android eat your lunch,’ one unhappy investor said, referring to the iPhone maker and Google’s software, which a number of device makers use.”

“RIM’s share of the U.S. smartphone market dipped to 24.7 percent in the three months to May from almost 29 percent a quarter earlier, with Apple and Google’s Android both garnering wider audiences, according to market analytics firm comScore,” Sharp reports. “RIM avoided what would have been an embarrassing vote of confidence in its top brass when an activist shareholder withdrew a motion to force co-founder Lazaridis and Balsillie to relinquish their other shared role as board chairman [after RIM] promised it will create a committee to study the issue and report back early next year.”

Sharp reports, “Its directors were returned to the board unopposed, with an initial count showing more than 90 percent support for each.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wouldn’t matter if they cleaned house now or not. The time when that would have been effective has long since passed.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “brian” for the heads up.]


  1. So the joint chiefs have no forward strategy short of forming a committee and both the board and shareholders have no stomach for forcing life saving surgery.
    Truly… RIMM is doomed to irrelevancy.

    1. That was the first time I thought of, too. The perfect place for Ballsilly and Lizardo to make a stand.
      (Although, really, no matter WHERE you go, you’re WHO you are…)

    1. The “strong foundation” that RIM stands upon is the heavy weight that is being used the pull that road kill to the bottom of the ocean. Look out below, Ballmer and Microsoft are on their way down next to you. RIMM and Microsoft can be swimming buddies down there.

  2. Love the mdn take—-these guys are lying to investors and the Canadian press still blows them like it’s ….well…2005?? Bottom line, just walk away from this lame ass company, the rest of the world already has.

  3. So the foundation is strong, but the current structure is weak. If you stand around much longer, the only option will be to level it and rebuild… or sell the land.

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