ORLANDO, Fla.Mixed in with the drama and hoopla that typically surrounds BlackBerry World, a steely determination was clearly apparent at the heart of Research In Motion.
RIM may have beenhaving parties and the usual giveaways for the faithful at BlackBerry World here, but its purpose was deadly serious: reverse BlackBerrys decline in the United States and make the company once again a major player in the world of wireless devices. To accomplish this, CEO Thorsten Heins said that in effect he had to remake the company and get rid of what he called consensus without action.
Heins and other RIM executives are working hard to ensure that their customers and the financial community comprehend the level of commitment at RIM. And theyre working hard so their customers know that something big is coming, if only they can wait.
When a company grows as fast as RIM has grownadding 20 thousand people in three yearsHeins said its hard to stay focused. You want to cover everything, you lose the efficiency of the organizations, he said. Everything is an opportunity you want to pursue. There are opportunities that are challenging and are exciting to do. But he said that trying to do everything at once ultimately leads to doing less. How well is the organization running? We have a little fat on the hips, he said. We need to be a lean, mean hunting machine.
Were looking at the management structure. How deep is it? Who is accountable? Heins said that the management complexity meant that a lot of things didnt get done, so he revised RIMs management structure to be more efficient. He noted that where RIM once had four COOs (of which he was one) the company now has one person in that position. He noted that he is personally recruiting a new superstar head of marketing, and hes cleaned up the entrenched bureaucracy in development.
The innovation was there, Heins said, but it needed focus and direction. We had a too complex management structure in RIM, but we've changed this, and there are more changes to come.
Heins also noted that some of the rumors surrounding developments at RIM have been incorrect. He said theyre not abandoning the consumer market. Nor is RIM turning its back on physical keyboards that have been the RIM hallmark.BlackBerry 10 devices will have physical keyboards for some but not all models. Furthermore, RIM is considering licensing BlackBerry OS 10.
In a private interview, RIMs Senior Vice President of Software Product ManagementAndrew Bocking said the consumer market is very important to RIM, but that it isnt the companys core business. For this reason, Bocking said, RIM is working with partners to deliver the consumer apps and games that those users want.