The stock market is giving a thumbs-down reaction to the management shakeup at Research In Motion Ltd. , with the shares down nearly 7 per cent in midday trading in Toronto on Monday. Meanwhile, analysts who have weighed-in on the stock since Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie stepped down as co-chief executives have mostly maintained their recommendations – usually as lukewarm “holds”, no less.
Meanwhile, popular bloggers are also taking a dim view of the dramatic changes. Here are a couple of thoughts, via Abnormal Returns.
Darren Murph, engadget: “Have a listen at this: Mike [Lazaridis]is hanging around as the Vice Chair of RIM’s Board and Chair of the Board’s new Innovation Committee. You heard right – the guy who has outrightly failed to innovate at anything in the past handful of years is now championing an innovation committee. Sounds right up his alley, no? Jim [Balsillie]s staying put as an outright director, and if you think anyone at RIM is going to brush aside the input of the founders, you’re wrong. Jim and Mike may have new titles, but they’re still here, and I have no reason to believe that they’ll act radically different going forward than they have in the past.”
Dan Frommer, SplatF: “On the bright side, in the meantime, RIM’s new CEO has plenty of levers to pull under the guise of figuring out a new model: He could license the BlackBerry email service or OS to other phone manufacturers, try building BlackBerry on top of Android or Windows Phone software, cancel or double down on its PlayBook tablet business, make plastic keyboard accessories for the iPhone, cut more staff, bring in some outside help, launch more ad campaigns, whatever. In the best-case scenario, RIM could stumble onto a smaller but sustainable business. But the odds of returning the BlackBerry to glory are minuscule. So I wouldn’t be surprised if RIM is eventually sold. But to whom, when, and at what price?”