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Can Thorsten Heins Save RIM’s Bacon?

There’s a wave of coverage about the dramatic overhaul at Research in Motion, which sees Thorsten Heins (Thorsten who?) replace Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie as CEO.

The question is whether it’s too little too late? Has RIM already slipped too far down the slippery slope? Even if he can stabilize the situation, isn’t RIM sort of like the Costa Concordia, clinging to the shore but in danger of dropping into the abyss at any moment?

Any who the heck is Thorsten Heins anyway, any why is he so darn enthusiastic? For evidence of his optimism, check out the video clips below created by RIM. In and of themselves, they’re a dramatic PR departure for RIM, which seemed to lose touch with how to communicate to consumers. Heck, Heins even appeared on the CBC’s Metro Morning with Matt Galloway this morning!

So what does Heins do now?

What what will he be allowed to given Lazaridis and Balsillie are on the board and major shareholders? Will he kill the PlayBook, which is describes as a “mobile computing platform”? Will he magically get QNX into the market sooner rather than later? Does it matter that RIM has $1.5 billion in cash, no debt and 75 million subscribers?

And will  Jim Balsillie now has the freedom to really pursue an NHL hockey team?

Yes, there are lots of questions but, truth be told, who knows whether RIM can rebound or it will continue to struggle before it gets snapped up by Nokia, Microsoft or Samsung.

As a proud Canadian, I want Heins to be a miracle-worker. If he can revive RIM, we should award him the Order of Canada because RIM is a key part of the Canadian high-tech and new economy landscape.

More: Here’s a six-step plan that I suggested for RIM to get its mojo back. They’ve now done two of my six suggestions. The National Post’s Matt Hartley has a Q&A with Heins, who said his first priority is to “continue selling BlackBerry 7 and to bring PlayBook 2.0 out in February”.

Heins on RIM’s bright future:

Heins on why the PlayBook isn’t irrelevant:

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  • http://cafelina.me Lina Arseneault

    To your point: “Any who the heck is Thorsten Heins anyway”. For the new leader of a company that “stills has a startup mentality”, Thorsten sure doesn’t dress like a startup guy!

  • maxmz03

    Don’t blame CEO, they want RIM win.

    RIM has strange culture and self distruct political environment.

    In RIM if a new hired person figure out major problem and introduce efficient approach, both manager and his buddy group member will proof their wrong approach works. just like someone point out driving a car is right way, pushing a car is wrong way, then both manager and his buddy group member will hate you, and proof that 3 person can also move the car by pushing it. cheating email will be sent to some vice president, saying like: see, the car moving, pushing a car is a natural part of the process, in order to deny new hired contribution of introducing skill of drive a car, they have to deny merit of driving a car.

    It is very strange company culture and strange company political environment, it promote stealing and cheating skill. RIM’s management may be a typical instance in MBA course.

    This culture deny or steal hardworking team members’ contribution/innovation, generate strange political environment, destroy RIM.

    So don’t blame CEO, some of their VPs and VPs’ expert generate terrible culture and self destruct political environment.