RIM's CEO to Face Irritated Investors for Plummeting Earnings and Delaying Product Launches


Straight from its most recent round of missed earnings forecasts and delayed product news, Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) will face frustrated investors at its annual meeting this morning. Currently, RIM shares are trading at eight-year lows, tumbling quickly last month after decreased earnings.

The Wall Street Journal reported that important institutional investors are not likely to show up to the BlackBerry maker’s meeting in Waterloo, Ontario. Instead, smaller, Canadian investors will show up, giving chief executive Thorsten Heins an opportunity to try to make it up to them.

On June 28th, Heins shocked analysts and investors by announcing that the RIM’s BlackBerry 10, the operating system that will power its next phone would not be out until next year. 

Recently, he and RIM executives have been all over the media, giving interviews to assure customers and investors that RIM will definitely recover. In an interview Monday, RIM’s new chief marketing officer, Frank Boulben, said that he believes the delay in the BlackBerry 10 launch could actually be a positive thing.

“From a pure marketing perspective, it’s a blessing in disguise. Carriers were already reaching out to me advising to launch in early next year rather than the Christmas frenzy, to ensure that we have maximum voice and attention from carrier employees and shoppers,” Boulben explained.

However, Boulben admitted that some of RIM’s marketing has been subpar in the past.

“We are going to go after that audience in a much more unified manner, and with consistent messaging. That will be a difference from what we’ve been doing in the past,” he said.

According to Boulben, carrier partners that have seen prototypes of the BlackBerry 10 phones and RIM’s future product plans are excited for the launch.  

Some investors who attend the meeting at Waterloo may feel a sense of accomplishment. Last year, one investor made RIM’s longtime twin-CEO structure an issue at the meeting. It pulled a proxy vote on the matter only after RIM agreed to study alternatives. Early this year, RIM restructured, replacing Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, the two men who ran the company for two decades, with Heins.

RIM was also recently in the news as Verizon Wireless and RIM unveiled the BlackBerryCurve 9310 smartphone. The BlackBerry Curve 9310 includes the entire core BlackBerry messaging and social-centric applications that allow customers to easily connect to people and things. The Curve 9310 runs on BlackBerry 7.1 and features the BlackBerry keyboard for easy typing and a BBM key for instant access to RIM's mobile social network.

The new BlackBerry Curve 9310 smartphone will be available online starting July 12 and will be in Verizon Wireless Stores soon for $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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TechZone360 Web Editor

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