updated 12:15 am EST, Fri January 27, 2012
RIM CEO willing to try opponents' devices, more
New info trickling out from a CrackBerry interview with new RIM CEO Thorsten Heins may assuage some early fears that he was locked into his predecessors' management style. The new executive made a point not just to use Android, iOS, and other platforms himself but a "whole team" that both looks at the competition and sees what doesn't work. Even his children are involved, he said.
"I have to do this [testing]," Heins said. "You need to know where you are."
While it's not clear how much is different versus what ex-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have done, the process is much more engaged than with Nokia before the arrival of CEO Stephen Elop. Staff were known to have often refused to try iPhones or other competing devices and, as a result, lived in a vacuum where they didn't have a frame of reference for how poorly Symbian was doing.
Heins further clarified his position after statements that there wouldn't be major change triggered stock sell-offs. He promised that there would be "a lot of change" and that the comments were more to dismiss outside beliefs that RIM might split into separate companies or sell itself. BlackBerry 10 and internal structural change were in place, but RIM still believed in its complete integration of hardware and software.
The remarks left an opportunity to criticize Android. RIM's chief saw "no room for differentiation" in practice between Android suppliers. His employer had made mistakes, but these were inevitable and were still leading RIM down the right path. "This is not baking cookies," he said. "This is building high tech products."