updated 10:40 am EDT, Fri July 1, 2011
RIM mutiny mounts with new open letters
More dissent within RIM manifested itself on Friday after a new batch of letters appeared from staff. Picking two out of almost a dozen messages, BGR was told of a company where management was a core problem. Dialog and challenging ideas are discouraged, and leadership often insists on following a process that can take "weeks" for even small changes instead of doing what would be best.
Many are former AT&T leaders who are used to following procedure and haven't fully accepted that they're at a different company, one author said.
One of the anonymous letter writers also directly refuted RIM's official claims that staff should simply communicate problems to those above them. Executives often have little tolerance for challenges from below and sometimes promote staff with little connection to their actual skill and desire.
"No one wants to upset someone above them by saying 'no, we don't have the time
or "no, that's not valuable' or 'no, you clearly don't understand what it is we do around here,'" an employee said.
Despite an official corporate line that the company is "excited," many workers are demoralized, he added. Most have been given too much work and are made to work virtually mandatory overtime with unfulfilled raises and reduced benefits. RIM's recentj ob cuts came without any talk on the affected levels.
On devices, the letters revealed a system where feedback often wasn't discouraged. RIM's dependence on selling phones solely through carriers and third-party resellers was dragging it down as sales staff will often talk them into a device like an iPhone while attacking the BlackBerry. "When our only avenue to selling our devices is through a 'neutral' 3rd party, and is just as happy to sell someone a competitors product as ours, we are at their mercy," one letter said.
RIM's marketing was also under scrutiny, both for uninteresting ads at concerts and sports events but once more for its obsession with pleasing Adobe by marketing Flash.
Both of the publicized letters had confidence in the core team and and were hopeful, but they saw RIM's CEOs and other top executives holding the company back through structure. The company needed to be remade into one that could be nimble and encourage creativity that has so far been held back.