One of the themes that emerged in Research In Motion Ltd.'s earnings call on Thursday was that the co-chief executives of the company are pleased with each other's performances - and they're unlikely to step down. That, along with disastrous earnings and a slashed forecast and impending layoffs, might be rankling investors on Friday, many of whom were calling for a management shakeup.
RIM is clearly struggling to compete against the iPhone and Android-based devices. Its marketing efforts are weak, it has been slow to release new products and it has been criticized for releasing what is widely considered to be a half-baked tablet computer earlier this year.
The solution, for some observers, is to change the leadership of the company, where Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis currently share the duties. They made it clear, though, that that was unlikely to happen. AllThingsD has this transcript in its scathing take on the issue:
"Mike and I would like to address some of the concerns that have been expressed surrounding the executive management structure at RIM and, specifically, the joint nature of our leadership," Mr. Balsillie said. "Mike and I have been partners in this business for almost 20 years, and during that time RIM has grown to $20-billion in annual revenue. We are currently approaching the tail end of a significant transition in our business, that, frankly, few companies would have survived. But we have. And I believe, and I think Mike would agree, that neither of us could have taken RIM this far alone."
"I agree with Jim's comments," Mr. Lazaridis said. "Our co-CEO arrangement is what led to RIM's success over the past two decades."
Investors, though, are clearly more concerned about the next two decades. The shares were down 19 per cent in mid-morning trading on Friday, trading roughly where they were seven years ago. The shares have fallen a total of 81 per cent since their high in 2008.