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July 4, 2011

Anonymous employees reveal ‘chaos’ inside RIM: report

BlackBerry maker says company prepared to address challenges

By CBR Staff Writer

Employees of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) have posted anonymous open letters to the management of the company venting their ire on mismanagemnt and lack of motivation in the company, according to a report by BGR.

The report published an open letter by a "high-level RIM employee" asking BlackBerry bosses to take steps to address the chaos that is present in the company as it is going through a transition.

The report quoted the employee, "We are in the middle of major "transition" and things have never been more chaotic. Almost every project is falling further and further behind schedule at a time when we absolutely must deliver great, solid products on time. We urge you to make bold decisions about our organisational structure, about our culture and most importantly our products."

The employee also says, "RIM has a lot of people who underperform but still stay in their roles. No one is accountable."

BGR says that the identity of the employee has been verified.

There were more anonymous letters accusing the company of poor leadership, unfair HR policies, sinking morale and inferior quality of products.

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RIM has replied to the posts in an unsigned letter. It said that the company has a solid financial standing and brand popularity. It also said that the management is aware and ready to face both challenegs and opportunities the company faces.

The statement read, "RIM recently confirmed that it is nearing the end of a major business and technology transition. Although this transition has taken longer than anticipated, there is much excitement and optimism within the company about the new products that are lined up for the coming months."

RIM has been embroiled in issues ranging from data encryption in countries like India to poor PR. The company is facing intense competition from Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android-based devices. After the launch of its PlayBook in March this year, the company had said that it banked on corporate orders to sell the product.

Earlier this year, RIM boss Jim Balsillie had said that moving into larger devices such as tablets was a big challenge for the company.

The company has also said that it would be launching a 4G Playbook in the second half of the year.

In April, RIM lowered its profit expectations by about 10% for the quarter ending in May. The reason for slashing the revenue forecasts is believed to be because of both competition and lack of new product releases.

"This shortfall is primarily due to shipment volumes of BlackBerry smartphones that are now expected to be at the lower end of the range of 13.5-14.5 million forecasted in March and a shift in the expected mix of devices shipped towards handsets with lower average selling prices," RIM said.

RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said the shortfall is because the company is in "transition" to a new generation of phones.

"We’re cutting over to a whole new platform, a whole new set of products," he said.

Balsillie added, "We feel very, very excited and committed to the long-term strategic strength of the company."

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