Analysts and industry commentators have cast doubt on whether Research In Motion's (RIM) leadership changes are enough to boost the firm's poor financials and reverse its declining reputation among businesses.
RIM's Jim Basillie and Mike Lazaridis resigned from their co-chief executive roles on Monday after investors put pressure on the company to shake things up.
The firm has seen its once strong market share eroded by Android and iPhone devices entering the business market. In December, RIM's third-quarter earnings for 2011 showed profits down 71 per cent on the previous year.
The resignations follow a bad 2011 for RIM, with its PlayBook tablet proving a flop and customers around the globe affected by a major network outage in October. The company also cut 2,000 jobs last year, the biggest lay-off in its history
IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo told V3 that the promotion of chief operating officer Thorsten Heins to chief executive is unlikely to be enough to secure success for the firm.
"Of course it is good that the chief executives resigned as there was pressure on them from the market to do something," said Jeronimo.
"The doubt is whether an internal hire can make a difference. Heins is familiar with the company and knows what's going on but he can't bring in any new blood that RIM so badly needs."
Jeronimo said RIM should have been bolder, like Nokia was in September 2010 when it hired the president of Microsoft's business software group, Stephen Elop, as chief executive.
"Nokia was also suffering from poor performance so the firm took a bold move and hired someone from a different company and different region. Elop is now definitely working for them," said Jeronimo.
"Elop has really shaken things up and changed the mind-set of Nokia. People complained about him moving Nokia to Windows but Nokia's Lumia device is one of the best smartphones out there and Nokia's financial results are showing Elop is right on track."
Jeronimo said he expects RIM to maintain its current strategy under Heins, with the focus very much on new devices based on the QNX operating system. But will this be enough to lure users away from Android and iOS?
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