June 17, 2011, 3:28 PM — While Research in Motion "is a very professionally run company with hard working and relatively motivated people," its leaders are out of touch with consumers, a former employee tells Business Insider.
According to BI's Jay Yarow, the business site received an anonymous email from a former RIM worker -- who insists he's not a bitter ex-employee -- offering insights into why the formerly dominant smartphone maker is in what some think may be a death spiral.
(Also see: RIP, RIM)
RIM on Thursday announced poor fiscal first-quarter results and sharply revised downward its earnings forecast for the full year. Shares of RIM (NASDAQ: RIMM) plunged more than 23 percent in Friday trading to 27.08, their lowest price since September 2006.
Speaking of co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, BI's source writes:
"The problem is that they brim with hubris regarding their success in the corporate market and are culturally blind to the gaping holes in their armour regarding consumer. They honestly think they understand consumer product, business, mentality, marketing - but they really don't."
Worse, the writer tells BI, "It's not so much that they are 'weak' in some areas ... it's that they don't recognize that they are."
The former employee, who emphasizes that he is a "proud Canadian," goes on to cite some cultural problems as well, essentially calling the company and its attitude provincial.
"Most of the design decisions at RIM are made by 50 something engineers, otherwise highly accomplished and credible in the field of engineering. But since they've lived most of their lives in the rural areas of Southern Ontario, and don't have any real background or even social sensibility for culture, design and such issues, they're woefully unqualified for the task of aesthetic judgement."
Getting back to the hubris thing, recent comments from RIM's co-CEOs would seem to support the former employee's contention.