RIM's New Marketing Chief Makes No Sense
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins made a big deal on Tuesday during his remarks on his new management team that he'd personally assembled and was going to turn RIM into a "lean, mean hunting machine." (Seriously, he said that.)
Is there any other position on that team more critical than marketing? For years, RIM has emphasized engineering over marketing. Founder Mike Lazaridis believed that giving names to his devices was silly marketing fluff. So he decided all that was needed was a bunch of four digits for device names like 8900 or 9500.Previous marketing executives at RIM likely could not have been hired into their current jobs at another company if they applied. The only reason they had such positions at RIM seemed due to the fact that they lived in Waterloo, Ontario, and had been hired earlier in the company's lifecycle and been promoted into their current position. Therefore, given the company's precarious position at the moment, the marketing role appears to be critical for the successful launch of the BB10 operating system in their new phones and tablets in 2013. So I was a little surprised by a few facts about Frank Boulben, the man they hired. The first surprising fact about Boulben is that, although RIM likes to characterize him as a "French telecommunications veteran who has held senior roles at both Vodafone and Orange," his most recent job was the CMO at now-bankrupt LightSquared. Boulben's defense? '"The strategy was bang on," Boulben says, noting he signed 40 contracts with wireless giants such as Sprint. "I was not dealing with the regulatory part of it." The second, more damning fact about him, in my view, is that he is going to be based in New York. I just don't understand how that will work. Either Boulben is going to hire a team of new marketing people who will be based in Waterloo and he will manage them remotely, or he's going to hire his team to be based in New York, completely disconnected from the rest of RIM.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV