RIM?s New Playbook: The CEO Sneak
It was a big day for football fans, with both the AFC and NFC Championships taking place this afternoon and this evening. The games grab more than a few eyeballs every year ? last year?s championships grabbed 54.8 million and 51.9 million viewers, respectively. While the numbers aren?t out yet for today?s games, the viewership is expected to be equally as enormous.
That?s why so many in the Twittersphere have been so quick to point out that, nestled quietly behind a hotly contested NFC Championship between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers, and an equally great game over in the AFC, was a fairly huge announcement for the maker of BlackBerry, Research In Motion. During Championship Sunday, RIM quietly released a statement saying that its co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, are stepping down and will be replaced by current COO for products and sales, Thorsten Hein.
It?s certainly no accident that they would make such a statement during a highly-publicized and much-watched event like the NFC and AFC Championships ? even if they did benefit from close games, with one that ended in sudden death overtime. Thus, we?re calling it taking advantage of the ?The CEO Sneak,? in honor of football?s time-honored play called the Quarterback Sneak. The CEO sneak is not employed as often as the quarterback sneak, so it?s good to see RIM taking advantage of the diversion to sneak in their announcement about its leadership changes.
And, again, this obviously big news for RIM, whose co-CEOs have been leading the company for the better part of decades. Unfortunately, RIM has been struggling mightily of late, and when a once-enormous public company falls on hard times, lays off thousands of employees, and loses large chunks of its market share to the competition, investors and shareholders are bound to get antsy. Many have called for new leadership, management overhauls, and even the sale of the company to a larger entity.
In fact, last year, several large investors in the Canadian mobile