RIM Just Needs to Promote Itself Better: New CEO

Monday, 23 Jan 2012 | 5:47 PM ET

Research in Motion's main problem involves not products but public relations, according to new CEO Thorsten Heins's view of the troubled company.

Blackberry Bold
Source: blackberry.com
Blackberry Bold

That's why one of his first moves, as expressed during a CNBC interview Monday morning, will be to hire a chief marketing officer, whose duty it will be to spread the word that the BlackBerry maker is a company more in need of an image makeover than a turnaround.

"Then we will communicate and talk to our customers — consumer audiences — much more than we did in the past," Heins said. "We need to talk about BlackBerry, what we provide, show how great the user experience is and get the word out."

Heins ascended to the top RIM position Monday after its two co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, stepped down over the weekend.

The two executives have been at the center of bitter investor complaints that the company is faltering in market share and remains without a plan for the future.

RIM's stock has plunged about 72 percent over the past year, vastly underperforming its competitors, though shares have jumped 40 percent over the past month

The stock had traded higher prior to the Heins CNBC appearance but since turned negative. Shares fell more than 8 percent to close at $15.56.

The downturn in shares appeared to come around the same time Heins held a conference call with investors in which he said he plans no major structural changes for the company.

RIM's New CEO Heins on Future Strategy
We made a lot of changes 18 months ago when we decided to go for a new platform and really revamp the entire BlackBerry experience, says Thorsten Heins, Research in Motion CEO. Heins says we have learned our lessons and have adapted a lot and changed some positions in management and software. Going global and scaling up will be his focus.

While acknowledging problems along the way, Heins said the company's BlackBerry 10 platform will make it a strong player on the global stage

"There were bumps in the road which you hit normally when we grow as fast as we did," he said. "We learned our lesson, we adapted a lot."

"This is just a beginning of a whole new portfolio for Blackberry," he added. "We will expand our BlackBerry globally based on that platform, the fantastic platform that our engineers are working on now."

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