Blackberry Maker RIM Buckles Up Despite $125M Loss

Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) has said it plans to refocus its business back onto corporate customers.

The Canadian company made a net loss for the three months to 3 March of $125m (£78m), compared with a profit of $934m a year earlier. It has lost ground as its traditional corporate customers have switched staff to iPhones or Android smartphones. RIM also announced the resignation of former co-chief executive Jim Balsillie. Chief technology officer David Yacht will also be standing down.

For the full financial year, the RIM made a net profit of $1.2bn, down from $3.4bn in the previous year. The results were worse than analysts had expected and shares in the company fell as much as 9% in after-hours trading in New York. They have fallen by 80% over the past year. RIM has struggled to keep up with rivals in the smartphone market, such as Apple’s iPhone and handsets running on Google’s Android operating system. It has also struggled to gain a foothold in the tablet market.

Newly-appointed chief executive Thorsten Heins said the company would now focus on its traditional core market of corporate customers rather than on individual consumers as part of a strategy to turn the business around: “We believe that Blackberry cannot succeed if we tried to be everybody’s darling and all things to all people. Therefore, we plan to build on our strength.”

Analysts said the company could continue to struggle until it became clear whether this turnaround plan would succeed.

Source: BBC News

Image: Pocket-lint

RIM to Have New Chairmen?

A new report suggests that Research in Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry, is looking to make some changes to its board of directors, changes that could cast aside current co-chairmen Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie.

According to the Financial Post, a committee of independent directors are assessing whether Lazaridis and Balsillie — who also serve as co-CEOs of the beleaguered company — should be replaced as chair.

The Post cites sources familiar with the matter as pegging Barbara Stymiest, who joined the RIM board in 2007, as the leading candidate for replacement. Back in July, RIM agreed to a review of its governance structure. This agreement followed calls from unhappy shareholders for the company to separate the roles of chair and chief executive. As the Post notes, separating the roles of chairman and CEO is more common in Canada and the UK than it is in the United States.  The governance review is expected to be delivered by Jan. 31.

RIM struggled significantly in 2011. Not only did its stock drop dramatically, it cut 2,000 jobs and it wrote-down nearly $500 million on its PlayBook tablet. RIM continues to slash prices on the PlayBook, but that hasn’t been enough to stop the decline in market share. Even worse, during its last quarterly earnings call, the company announced that its next-generation BlackBerry 10 devices would be delayed until late 2012.


Source: Mashable

Image: Technorati