BGR published an open letter to Research In Motion yesterday from an anonymous high-level RIM executive who begged for senior management to take notice of all of the issues within RIM. The exec explained how the company should make some changes to focus on the talent and potential within RIM, and also to focus on end users instead of carriers. After we published the article, RIM responded. It wasn’t pretty, and it really didn’t address a single point that was made by the original plea. It wasn’t just RIM that responded, however — we received dozens of emails from current and former RIM employees detailing their stories, and essentially all agreeing with the open letter that was published on BGR. Among the correspondence were several new “open letters” written by RIM employees, and the BGR team has gone through them at length. There were nearly a dozen gems amid the emails we received, and while we may address various highlights in the coming weeks, we can’t publish them all at this time. We thank each and every person who took the time to email us with their thoughts, but there were two in particular that stood out from the crowd. One is from a former RIM employee and the other is from a current employee, and both sources have been vetted. The full, unedited letters can be read after the break. More →
RIM on Thursday released its response to an open letter published exclusively by BGR. The letter, which was written by a senior RIM executive, pleads with the company’s upper management to make some drastic changes if it is to regain the mind share and market share it has lost in recent years. After questioning the authenticity of the letter — and we assure you, it is indeed genuine and its author has been vetted — RIM said the company is “fully aware of and aggressively addressing both the company’s challenges and its opportunities.” The response goes on to take an extremely defensive stance, listing various reasons that RIM is still in a strong position. The company also says its management is taking its current challenges seriously during this transitional period. “The company is thankfully in a solid business and financial position to tackle the opportunities ahead with a solid balance sheet (nearly $3 billion in cash and no debt), strong profitability (RIM’s net income last quarter was $695 million) and substantial international growth (international revenue in Q1 grew 67% over the same quarter last year). In fact, while growth has slowed in the US, RIM still shipped 13.2 million BlackBerry smartphones last quarter (which is about 100 smartphones per minute, 24 hours per day) and RIM is more committed than ever to serving its loyal customers and partners around the world,” the response concludes. RIM’s statement can be read below in its entirety.
There’s no question Research In Motion is in the midst of a major transitional period. The company is planning to launch a brand new product line based on a brand new operating system within the next 12 months, and even though the first device born out of RIM’s new QNX OS was impressive in some ways, it was incomplete. There still is a chance for RIM to deliver some really interesting competitive products, but time is quickly running out, as we have written time and time again. The thing is, RIM has always been a company controlled by two people — Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. For all the things that have worked, they have missed the boat countless times and we’re now seeing the results.
We have received an open letter to Mike and Jim from a high-level RIM employee (whose identity we have verified), and in an amazingly honest and passionate plea, this letter gives fascinating insights into what RIM must fix, and fast. RIM did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Read the open letter in its entirety after the break.
P.S. If you’re an employee of RIM and want to send us your thoughts and feelings on the company, you can send them to us via email or leave a comment below.
UPDATE: Following this post, RIM issued an official response to the letter below. The company’s full response can be viewed here.