Maybe Thorsten Heins is the right man for the job at RIM

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| January 24, 2012

The whole world called for change to the way that Research In Motion does things. The way things were going, or are going, made everyone who watched the company that built the BlackBerry name scratch their head and wonder if anything could possibly change. We have all been wondering whether or not there’s anything that RIM can do to bring the company out from the shadows of their competitors, and stand back in the lime light that we all know that they once embraced. But as the world turns, and as we watch the future ahead, we haven’t seen BlackBerry devices roll with the tide. We’ve watched as BlackBerry OS 6 wasn’t good enough, and we watched as BlackBerry 7 tried but couldn’t fill in all the gaps. The question as to RIM’s future may not be as black-and-white as some people may think, but it is obviously a question that needs to be asked.

But now that RIM has shaken things up, and ousted the pair of co-CEOs from the board room and their executive positions can we really say that RIM has actually shaken anything up? So many people out there were begging for RIM to put someone outside of RIM in the position of CEO, or even a pair of people. Someone who isn’t already embedded inside RIM, who can take a look at the company and everything that’s going on from an objective standpoint, from where the rest of the world is, and hopefully implement some drastic changes that everyone thinks RIM needs.

But apparently that isn’t happening. In fact, with a new CEO in place with Thorsten Heins, we’re faced with the same things that have been going on, with no drastic change coming. Heins put it bluntly the day we all learned of his appointment, saying, “I don’t think there is some drastic change needed.” Well, that’s an arguable statement, but okay, maybe he is looking at the way that RIM has gone about the release of BlackBerry 6, 7 and the upcoming launch of BlackBerry 10 and sees something the rest of us don’t. Maybe, just maybe, RIM actually has a plan.

With that single sentence, Heins accomplished a couple of things. First and foremost, he intensified the fear. Instead of saying something not so diplomatic, and making a statement that would suggest to everyone that something new and exciting is coming, that RIM is getting ready to blow everyone’s mind, he said the complete opposite. That obviously got the whole wide world up-in-arms, saying, “No, Mr. Heins, RIM really does need a drastic change. What, are you blind?” That’s probably the wrong question to be asking, to be honest. And that leads us to the second thing Heins did.

He showed that RIM obviously has a plan, and someone that is just taking over the CEO position believes it is a good one. Because, let’s face it, Mr. Heins has a lot riding on his shoulders. He isn’t taking the role of CEO from one of the most beloved companies in the world who is doing amazing things in the mobile industry. No, Heins is taking the reins of a company that has an incredible fan base, which is struggling to get back its identity it so unfavorably lost over the last few years. He has a lot to prove, and not just to stockholders (even though that’s probably who he is trying to impress the most), but to the masses all waiting for RIM to do something incredible. No one wants RIM to be the next Palm, not by a long shot, and no one wants Heins to be the man who makes the announcement that BlackBerry 10 has been axed and RIM has been purchased by someone else.

Let’s be perfectly clear: we all know that RIM has a plan, and we’ve known that from the start. Obviously they’ve got a plan and they’re doing everything they can to stick to it. Putting a new face at the head of the company and ousting the two personas who many believe were bringing it down, is one part of that plan. We can talk about whether or not RIM has the same amount of time to make an impact on the mobile market like Microsoft does, but that would probably be a short conversation. Instead, maybe Thorsten Heins is indeed the man that RIM needs to get things back in gear, because maybe he’s got just enough love for the Waterloo-based company to make sure that all bases are covered, but that new territory is not only explored, but also utilized to its full potential.

Basically, let’s not count him out so quickly, shall we? Let’s keep our fingers crossed.