Today $BBY announcing lay-offs in Geek Squad hyped yesterday. Suicide pact with $RIMM up nextThat's Twitter gold. While I catch Macke's general drift, it makes more sense to compare Best Buy ( BBY) to Radio Shack ( RSH) and Research in Motion ( RIMM) to Nokia ( NOK). First, it never hurts to review the carnage. If nothing else, it might remind you to stay away from the market's so-called value plays. Take a gander at the five-, two- and one-year returns (in parentheses) for BBY, RSH, RIMM and NOK. Put a minus sign in front of each number. No plus signs needed.
Best Buy and Radio ShackWhile it's entirely possible that Best Buy and Radio Shack die, I'm inclined to believe that at least one survives. Investors often ignore boards of directors and look to management during times like these. But at this juncture, you can no longer blame management at either company for further missteps and stagnation. Direct your discontent to the boards at Best Buy and Radio Shack.
RIM and NokiaSurvival at RIM and Nokia also starts at the top. While RIM chose to hire the uninspiring Thorsten Heins from within, Nokia stepped out and grabbed a non-Fin, Stephen Elop from Microsoft ( MSFT). Elop's moment of truth should come in the months after Ryan Seacrest rings in 2013. Nokia made its choice, it got gutsy on us and can't look back. Frankly, if it fails, I would not pile on the company. It made the necessary changes: It blew out management in relatively quick fashion, dumped the Symbian platform and partnered with Microsoft. You really cannot ask for much more given the depths to which the company fell. RIM, meantime, went from two CEOs who refused to acknowledge the company's problems to one living in an equally abhorrent state of misleading denial. If I was a member of RIM's board, I would have told Heins not to not enter headquarters again unless it's over my dead body. Why? This pathetic comment:
There's nothing wrong with the company.That statement requires no context. It's patently absurd. Unless Heins made it sarcastically, angrily or in self-deprecating fashion as part of raging tirade that started with things being thrown and ended in tears, those words should not come out of anybody's mouth who has ever heard of RIM, let alone one of its executives. We live in a new world. One that blurs the lines between companies such as RIM, Nokia, Radio Shack and Best Buy. Sure, they operate in different spaces, but, increasingly, they require the same types of strategies, attitudes and corporate cultures. Boards ought to look to perpetual start-ups and the next generation of CEOs from places like Silicon Valley when they're in do-or-die situations. Follow @RoccoPendola At the time of publication, the author was long MSFT and NOK. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.