Each year, Cantech Lettter founder Nick Waddell holds an awards ceremony to recognize the top executive in the Canadian technology sector. The winner of the award is established by a voting process. Equity analysts on the voting panel each get a vote, and readers of Cantech Letter get one collective vote.
The analysts who vote on this award come from a variety of smaller dealers including Byron Capital Markets, Cormark Securities, Industrial Alliance Securities, M Partners and Cantor Fitzgerald (who's Canadian presence comes from the acquisition of Versant Partners).
This year, the winner was none other than Thorsten Heins.
What does it mean for Thorsten to win? Well, let's put things in their proper perspective. The analysts voting on this award certainly aren't motivated financially. RIM is not about to go raise money and play favourites by doing a brokered deal with a bunch of small Canadian firms. So these votes are genuine.
It tells me that Canadian investors are warming up to the new RIM. They like the changes they see. They're under no illusion that RIM's problems are over, but it's pretty clear that Thorsten is navigating the RIM ship better than anyone expected.
Cormark's Richard Tse says RIM's platform transition remains an uphill battle, but RIM's "surprising operational progress" has given it wiggle room between BlackBerry 7 and BlackBerry 10 that many critics didn't think the company could spare. I think he's right. Analysts were very worried that RIM would lose its subscriber base in this transition. That hasn't happened.
Byron Capital's Tom Astle offered up this metaphor: "He still has a massive job in front of him, but already the big ship is starting to right itself under his navigation." Well said.
On behalf of CrackBerry Nation, our congrats go out to Thorsten Heins.