RIM announces Q4 2012 earnings, Jim Balsillie resigns from board, company plans to refocus on enterprise
By Donald Melanson posted Mar 29th 2012 at 4:46PM
We've already seen a bit of big news slip out ahead of RIM's earnings announcement, and the company's now dropped another bombshell itself. Former co-CEO Jim Balsillie has resigned from his position on the company's board of directors.
In a statement, Balsillie said simply: "As I complete my retirement from RIM, I'm grateful for this remarkable experience and for the opportunity to have worked with outstanding professionals who helped turn a Canadian idea into a global success."
RIM also confirmed that CTO David Yach would be retiring as well, and that COO Jim Rowan as "decided to pursue other interests," but hasn't offered any indication of a broader shakeup beyond those three departures.
As for the fourth quarter earnings, RIM is reporting revenue of $4.2 billion, down 19 percent from the third quarter, and a GAAP net loss of $125 million. Total BlackBerry shipments for the quarter dipped 21 percent to 11.1 million units, while PlayBook shipments totaled 500,000, which is actually a new high water mark for the tablet. This is also notably the company's first quarterly earnings under the leadership of new CEO Thorsten Heins, who admits that the RIM faces some "significant" business challenges over the "next several quarters," and says that he's "taking the necessary steps to address them."
That includes "increased management accountability and process discipline," as well as what he describes as a "comprehensive review of strategic opportunities including partnerships and joint ventures, licensing, and other ways to leverage RIM's assets and maximize value for our stakeholders."
On the company's earnings call, Heins further added that he intends to refocus on the company's enterprise business, and not try to be "all things to all people." He went on to offer an even more frank assessment of RIM's state than he had earlier, stating that these are "difficult times" and that there's "no guarantee of success."