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RIM posts bleak Q4 results, Balsillie quits board

updated 05:10 pm EDT, Thu March 29, 2012

RIM posts fiscal Q4 2012 loss as co-founder exits

RIM recorded poor fiscal fourth quarter results that saw a major upheaval at the company. In the wake of a 25 percent year-to-year drop in revenue to $4.2 billion and a $125 million loss, former co-CEO Jim Balsillie has resigned from the company's board of directors. No explanation was given for the departure apart from completion of "retirement," although Mike Lazaridis was staying on the board.

The company's CTO, David Yach, was also exiting. Global Operations COO Jim Rowan was also opting to "pursue other interests," or look for work at other companies, following an "open dialogue" about the future of the role that hinted at forced departures. Heins' influence was apparent as the company looked to consolidate to one single COO instead of the unusual structure that Balsillie and Lazaridis had maintained, where they shared CEO roles and had as many as three COOs.

The company reached the low end of its guidance for BlackBerrys, at 11.1 million, and saw a rare recovery in its BlackBerry PlayBook shipments to hit the 500,000 it had shipped at the spring launch. However, it declared that it would no longer provide specific numeric guidance like most companies. The company directly acknowledged that "ongoing weakness" in the US, "competitive pressure" worldwide, a higher emphasis on low-end phones, and plans for some new lower-priced service efforts were all playing a role.

The quarter was the first with Heins in the CEO position, although his occupation of the spot in late January makes suggests that most of the results are inherited from the earlier CEOs' decisions. During the fiscal results call, he described the upheaval as a "reality check" where the company would focus on strong points like its corporate lead, rather than focusing on home-oriented services.

by MacNN Staff



  1. makemineamac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A Shame

    They really should have payed more attention, got out of hardware and licensed the software.

    A great canadian company with no leadership it appears.

    Will not be surprised to see them now or soon transition to software only, available on any device, which is what they had considered doing many many years ago.

    Like Steve Jobs had said, they were struggling to transition, and it is clear the damage it has done to a once-great brand.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Did it to themselves.

    Re: "...the company would focus on strong points like its corporate lead, rather than focusing on home-oriented services."

    A rapidly shrinking corporate lead at this point. How many times have we seen formerly great companies cling to their declining number of profitable clients? Seen it with Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics, and now RIM.

    RIM could have been where Apple is now. Leading the industry, making the biggest profits, expanding their world-class mindshare. But no. They coasted for too long. Threw it all away because they either didn't have any new ideas or didn't want to change their old ways.

    Amateur hour really is over now.

  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    (Nelson Muntz)


  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    if you can't make something good

    you have to make something cheap.

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