Walk Of Shame: Blackberry Shareholder Meeting Sheds Light On Problems

Blackberry, who approved the company’s official name today from Research In Motion to Blackberry, held its shareholder meeting today and answered questions regarding the troubled company. The Canadian tech company’s CEO Thorsten Heins faced shareholders today in Ontario to answer for the weak quarter it just posted and the subsequent 28 percent drop in the stock since then. As reported by reuters.com:

“Less than two weeks ago, BlackBerry reported that results and sales of its new BlackBerry 10 line of smartphones fell short of analysts’ expectations in the quarter ended June 1. The results offered little evidence that the company can quickly win back market share from Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy devices, and other phones powered by Google’s Android operating system.” Thorsten was quoted as saying: “Our transformation is ongoing and in no way easy,” he told an auditorium packed with investors in the company’s hometown of Waterloo, Ontario. “This is a long-term transition for the company but I can assure you that we are pushing very hard.”

That’s not what shareholders want hear, as most of them have taken significant losses on the stock and can’t take the pain any longer. When the Blackberry CEO opened the floor to shareholders, questions and comments ranged from the disastrous launch of it’s new Z10 device, why Americans hate their phones, strategy for India and most notably—should the company be broken broken up? Regarding the last question, Heins did not rule out any possibilities as reported by businessweek.com:

“Heins didn’t rule the possibility out. Still, he pointed out that if you want to sell your house, a good first step might be to renovate the kitchen. ‘Before you go into any strategic option, I think you have to create value, and the value of the company 15 months ago was way, way less than what it is today,’ he said. BlackBerry won’t ignore offers, but Heins said he has to keep management focused on trying to save the company. For the remainder of the event, anyone who mentioned that he didn’t think the company should be split up was guaranteed a round of applause.”

That’s a far cry from the dominant company they used to be just a few short years ago. But they were a stubborn company who refused to yield to the trends of consumer demands for touchscreen devices. Blackberry should definitely be stronger, or at least equal to Samsung right now. Instead they’ll be known as the company that failed to innovate and were always doing too little too late. And while their CEO had a somewhat positive outlook on their recent changes, stating the conversation has changed from  “when is BlackBerry going to die?” to “does BlackBerry have a future?”—that probably won’t be enough going forward.

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