RIM denies dissent in the ranks
RIM insists all with well within its ranks, denying claims of low morale contained in an open letter purporting to be from a disgruntled employee that was posted online yesterday.
The Canadian smartphone vendor hit back at claims staff have lost faith, stating that the firm is gripped with a buzz of “excitement and optimism” over forthcoming product launches. In its official blog, managers concede the firm’s transition has taken longer than it expected, but noted it is still in good shape financially and in terms of overall shipments despite a slowdown in growth.
“There is a fundamental business reality, however, that following an extended period of hyper growth (during which RIM nearly quadrupled in size over the past five years alone), it has become necessary for the company to streamline its operations in order to allow it to grow its business profitably while pursuing new strategic opportunities,” the blogged statement reveals.
The open letter was sent to Boy Genius Report, which claims to have verified it came from a senior RIM executive. It begins with the unambiguous statement “I have lost confidence,” and goes on to detail how employees “passion” is all but depleted.
Perhaps more worryingly for co-chiefs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie – to whom the letter was addressed – the ‘exec’ claims the firm operates a culture where staff are afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs. The author calls for RIM to focus on end-users, recruit heavy hitting software engineers, pare back development to a core set of projects, and do more to woo developers rather than carriers.
While the firm’s blog paints a picture of calm, the firm has agreed to establish an independent committee to review its management structure. The decision appears to be an attempt to avoid confronting the issue at the Annual General Meeting on July 12, as proposed by shareholder NEI Investments.
Matters are coming to a head after the firm lowered its outlook for device shipments in fiscal 2Q12 – the three months to end-August – due to a slowdown in sales and delays shipping devices running the latest version of its BlackBerry operating system.