More Employee Letters to RIM Surface...

By Kevin Michaluk on 1 Jul 2011 09:37 am EDT
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Following yesterday's Open Letter to RIM Sr. Management by an anonymous employee and RIM's official response to that letter, today two more letters to RIM have been posted (apparently a dozen or so were received by BGR). Here's the start of each to put them in perspective:

Letter 1: I was an employee at RIM for a year and a half. I worked in the legal and business affairs departments, and despite having originally thought I'd landed the jackpot job-wise, it took no time for me to begin planning my exodus. My first week started with a complete change in my title and duties without anyone telling me, and when I dared ask what was happening, the director (my boss) and her BFF the OD business partner ganged up on me and threatened to let me go, setting the tone for the remainder of my time there. 

Letter 2: Inside RIM there is a small-ish (maybe 200-300) group of employees who's only focus is keeping the BlackBerry services (Email, Browsing, BBM, the network, etc) running for our customers. We're a 24/7/365 organization, maintaining 10′s of thousands of servers, network devices, services and basically anything that keeps devices working with our service. Keeping this massive service running smoothly, and keeping visible downtime to a minimum is a monumental task, made worse by the poor management decisions we deal with every day.

Overall it's mainly more of the same... not great to read from the perspective of a BlackBerry fan, but it is what it is. At this point I think RIM's issues are pretty well known to everybody. What matters now is where RIM goes from here. Oh, and for what it's worth, I hate blogging stuff like this... if any more letters get posted I'll think Ill just leave them to be discussed in the CrackBerry forums.  Let me know what you think of that notion in the comments. 

Read More: BGR

67 comments

rroyy

first letter released yesterday, and JSG announced these 2letters yesterday and Today 2nd letter has "As the other writer said,"

HeezyBear

The first letter was written around 11am. Someone could have read it and sent theirs in a few hours later that same day.

Marc_Paradise

Presumably these letters are in response to his call for RIM employees to send him more emails, in yesterday's post.

jermaine1082

BS. Their is no proof that these are comming from anyone in the company. It sounds like some thing my sister in highschool would write. RIM employee's are college grads right. Ummmmmmmmm. Again. I call BS.

big_time2

So you're saying these letters are full of grammatical errors, punctuation errors, written by someone with who can barely put together a paragraph, talks about his/her best friends jealousy?

Just because you disagree with what authors of these letters are saying doesn't mean they're not from RIM employees.

sk8er_tor

I quickly read through the two letters and yes there are grammatical errors.
Yesterday's letter could have been real but after reading these two, I'm not so sure any more.
And for those not happy with their job, find another job!

MrsD.

"Their" is no proof? I'm pretty sure it's "THERE" is no proof.

olblueyez

RIM being managed improperly is undeniable. Their lack of performance for the last 4+ years is a fact and not opinion. Many companies in North America and apparently Canada suffer management by people who don't give a rats ass about employees or the company, it's all about personal gain and achieving the most for the least amount of effort. You may feel the need to argue the merits QNX or Android as solutions and you may be right. Only problem with sliming the product line and improving the software is these things will never happen with the present leadership. They have displayed complacency in their respective roles and apathy towards US, the customers for a number of years now. For them to put RIM in such a disarray they had to knowingly make bad decisions like promoting people for personal reasons and dumping too much work on people who do possess talent and who never got promoted. For them to change these mistakes they will have to admit making them in the first place and THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN as long as these two clowns are pulling in millions and required to produce nothing. This is a common problem in the corporate world. People who skim ALL the cream off the top and constantly pester the people doing the work to find new ways to lower their standard of living and make the work place less efficient and less productive to save money.

"We know about the problems but we have done nothing to fix these problems and will not speak of any solutions in our reply to the employee letters".

I do not approve of people like this and consider them to be Thieves. Because of this, my next device will not be a 9900 or a Monaco as I had hoped.

Kevin,

I think your political correctness has interfered with you voicing what you really think. "They know about the problems and want to fix them" but as you say "No actions equal business as usual" as is typical in the often corrupt world of big business.

The short version is RIM will have to be completely destroyed by the current leaders before anything changes.

3rdpig

Maybe they're using a Storm to write the message? That would more than account for the near impossibility to type anything coherent.

xMatter

RIM should start licensing like webOS

xMatter

RIM should start licensing like webOS

AgentScribe

Sounds kind of like an old-school version of "Anonymous" hacktivism....typical RIM. LOL

Slammers08

Who cares!! BGR is crap and am suprised kevin believes anything from them! Why post negative articles on a blackberry site?? Especially after the Nortel deal? You don't see BGR saying crap about that!

ifarlow

RIM cares, as they responded to yesterday's open-letter. So if RIM takes it seriously, shouldn't consumers that use RIM's products? Or would you rather keep your fingers firmly jammed in your ears singing "la la la, I can't hear you... everything's just fine"?

Slammers08

Everything is fine! Rim is still profiting every qtr. Releasing new devices soon. I just don't get it. Any employee can post crap about there employer or ex-employer happens all the time. If you want to jump jump no one cares. People try other devices all the time and comeback to what works!

ifarlow

It happens all the time? Really? Care to share some recent examples of this happening to other employers "all the time"? Besides, as I said, RIM takes this seriously, so shouldn't you?

Furthermore, while people do leave all the time and come back to what works... it's unrealistic to assume that translates into people always return to BlackBerry devices.

Slammers08

Cmon man put your i-phone down and read the forums of people that have tried androids and iphones and came back to a bb. There are numerous threads on it! And about employees talking trash about their ex employer you think this is the first? Really?? Go back to the iphone forums if you want to be negative on rim!

3rdpig

My wife and I switched from Treo phones to BB storms and after 14 or 15 months of solid grief installing different OS's, warranty replacements and hacks in an attempt to make them minimally functional, she did an early upgrade to a Droid X and I bought a used Droid 2 off ebay. Dumping the Storm was one of the best days of my business life. God what a disaster that POS was. I've got a buddy with a Torch and after 5 minutes playing with my Droid 2 running CM7 he was sold. RIM needs to get their head out of their nether region and make some attempt to produce a product that consumers want.

Skeevecr

That second pair of emails could be summed up as "wah, wah, standard office whinging" and I am sure most people could write something similar about where they work if they could be bothered to do so

jermaine1082

Real or not they should be addressed. This is a buisness they run, I thought.

Skeevecr

I bet we will see no public response from RIM even if BGR does write, sorry, manages to confirm the sources of a few more of these kind of letters because continued responses will just play into the hands of the blog's need to generate page views.

Skeevecr

They took the time to reply to the first letter since it was at least structured in a manner that merited a response, but even then they doubted it was genuine.

Zizzzzy

Kevin, this is my comment to say it can stay in the forums. The open letter yesterday was a well done summary of everything forum and bloggers have been saying about RIM for a while now,the image thats being pushed by media for the company. Real or not the intent was never to help anybody but the world gain a new level of negative opinion on RIM. These 2 new ones today are just bandwagon hoppers. Really is sad that society goes to these levels to try and destroy a company.

DeaconFrost1098

They should really take responsibility and sign these letters. If you are an ex-employee, you shouldn't be in fear of losing your job and for those still employed and have complaints, do as the Nokia employees did and protest what you believe to be a problem. This anonymous letter deal is never good and can only make matters worse before they bare any fruit.

WillieLee

Yeah, now it's getting sadder. Why give BGR traffic for goofy letters?

big_time2

You gotta get traffic somehow, and if that means writing letters and saying they're from RIM employees, then you write those letters. Bloggers these days need income and they'll do anything for it.

WillieLee

I like how this executive knows the name of the developer who wrote the open letter complaining about RIM's development tools but refers to the person he blames for the 9530 as "the guy".

Revord

Its all a bunch of sour grapes tbh. This happens all the time when ex-employees decide to try to take a parting shot. These letters really come with no real context, and should be summarily disregarded.

Mark PPG

And the witch hunt continues...

RIM employs how many people?

I'm sure finding an unhappy employee or two is really "tough"

:s

WillieLee

It's also interesting how these letters contain no reference or insight to projects within RIM. Everything they comment about is what has been run by tech blogs.

flyersfan76

Fake. But then again it could be just a discruntled American working at a Canadian company.

See the spelling of Organization compared to the letter from yesterday.

Phil DeLong

Says the person who spelled disgruntled as "discruntled".

DustBow

As long as my Crackberry works, I don't care what goes on behind the curtain....now if the 9900 keeps getting delayed and OS-7 is full of bugs, then I'm going to be angry.....

johnmarki

BGR is pure trash, and I'm a little disappointed that Kevin and Crackberry are publishing bgr's material.

JAGWIRE

RIM is going threw a rough patch and it actually care about them and their products you will back them and not whine about this and that. I say let them whine and just ignore them they arnt loyal RIM/BB users if at the first sign of trouble they do this...

lnichols

Processes and procedures, and "process engineering" is one of the biggest tragedies I've ever seen hit the corporate/government world. They always promise efficiency, but never deliver. And SAP is just a way for a company to spend a lot of money on software and get little ROI and less efficiency. All I hear from people after it gets implemented somewhere is how it slows things up. Sure it generates pretty graphs and metrics for management, but never makes work for the people below them better.

southlander

You can find the same crap at any company that's having a rough time. I'm sure someone could go back and find some letter from an Apple employee in the mid 90's talking about how the moronic management waited too long to license the Mac OS -- like Microsoft had done with Windows. I mean, at the time it sounded like good advice.

nomi1978

Agreed, I mean how many people complain about their jobs on a regular basis. I have worked at some large companies and some managed services accounts and that is the case. In a big organization re-orgs happen all the time and the employee is the last to know.

Process improvements are supposed to help, but they often lead to employees being down because no one likes change.

Mummy2

Let me start by saying that I have been using a Blackberry for 10 years, and want RIM to do well. For that to happen, RIM has to deal with its issues head on, not with its head in the sand. We who support the platform need to hold RIM accountable for dealing with its issues. These issues are well known, even in the regular press and RIM has acknowledged them. They include but are not limited to the loss of market share, the disgruntled shareholders, the increasingly successful incursion of other brands into the sacred (to RIM) corporate space, the not-quite-as-smart-as-the-other- guys' products, the by now regular delays in product releases and buggy products on release, etc.

Obviously, many of those who have commented haven't worked at RIM, nor are they very knowledgeable about how corporations work. Much of what has been said in the letters -- real or fake -- rings true. RIM could well have developed an ossified bureaucracy. As for its leadership, it does seem too self-satisfied and lacking in customer / market focus. An increasing number of shareholders seem to have strong opinions on that. Happily, there is now an agreement to address that problem in a rational manner.

Comments like: "Witch hunt" or "the first sign of trouble" are naive at best and not helpful; neither, by the way, is Kevin's seeming unwillingness to lead / foster an intelligent and thoughtful debate about this, which could be a responsible and valuable source for RIM as it works its way through the major challenges it faces.

phonegeek#AC

Kevin thank you for reporting on it. Yes BGR is always questionable when it comes to information about rim but I applaud those within rim that are fighting the bureaucracy. Sure there are bound to be disgruntled employees here and there, every company has them. However the underlying issue is that investors are nervous about rim potential for future growth and rim really needs to get smarter about competing...

PG

Bigpoint

Kevin in seems to me that you can love the products & still be concerned about the state of the organization that produces them. It sounds to me that there are some problems that need to be dealt with and if they aren't then the future of our beloved BBs could be in jeopardy. Continue to be an advocate for the device and a forum where good quality debate can happen.

wheresmy600

I really could care less about either of these letters or employees who do not sign their names to letters. Either you're going to have enough guts to address it, or if you're not, then I don't want to read your anonymous letter.

Actually I'm a different type of RIM user anyway. I have been toying with the idea of going with Android/Verizon because of the amazing connection to my blackberry playbook when I tried it. But since I can't afford a blackberry and another device, I'm just going to skip that (maybe) and try a Verizon blackberry. I know that the blackberrys don't have 4G but I'm hoping by just switching to Verizon I will be able to get a slightly better bridge or tether browsing than what I'm getting with Sprint, for those few times when I need a connection but have no wireless access.

But after giving it some thought, I decided that all those bells, whistles, and apps get old really quickly, and at the end of the day, I want the functionality of my blackberry. I don't care about a lot of dog and pony show "innovation" that others are clamoring for. I don't consider it being "behind the times" when you can give me the functionality I need. Sure there are lots of things about the Playbook that need tightening up, and they need to be tightened up in the near future. But when it comes to phones, just keep giving me the email, phone, contact, and calendar functionality in a straightforward way where I don't have to swipe here, there and everywhere just to make a call.

southlander

I have the bridge on Verizon albeit with a Tour. It's ok, considering it is "free".

SRR500

Personally, I feel that an unsigned letter isn't worth the paper (or bandwith) its sent on. If you want to be taken serously you have to put your name on your opinion or grievence. If that puts your job in jeopardy than you have to decide which is more important to you.

ianbordas

Why are these letters only surfacing through BGR? Hmmmm...

jeffydude05

The second letter is on point, upper management needs to change. Poor leadership and execution, time after time. They created a great buzz with the bold touch, but then don't launch it 2 months later? Email client within 60 days after playbook launch. They need to slow down, concentrate on fewer things and get it right. I love blackberry, it's sad seeing Mikey boys ego ruining a great company.

dweese

So what different from every other company in the world? Other than some one put pen to paper on the net.

All big companies have these type of issues. Some one just finaly had the balls to step up and say something.

dalton4L

I'm pulling for you RIM but this is pathetic.

gord888

Uh... To those that agree with these stupid letters, I have but one comment. Many large comapies are like this - everyone has their opinion of management, direction, whatever. Those on the lower end of the totem pole will always complain about it. Its just more of the same... Just more public.

TeaBoy

Sounds like some Rim worker are pretty mad.
and if they get fired...
Sounds like they are going to take some of rim data and sell it to other companys.
Like our private email and data that go thru BIS.

TomCanuck

i say leave this stuff in the forums. I dont see this as news. anyone coulda wrote those. without proof it's a RIM (ex-)employee all these posts are doing is painting a bad picture of RIM for no reason. Stop supporting doom and gloom without proof! RIM's having enough trouble fighting off the negative media without CrackBerry jumping on the bandwagon.

PostMortem

Kevin,
I think you should continue to post it, but without real confirmation that these are from real employees, you would do well to file them as simply rumor. Not that I don't believe that these are real, I just feel that without real confirmation (not just BGR saying that they confirmed the source), it's easy for anyone to write a letter. Heck, we get letters from employees and ex-employees talking things just like these. One difference is that where I work, those people put their names on the letters.

These things happen at every large company, there's always someone that feels like they can run things better than they're being run. I can appreciate that these guys have ideas and don't want to discourage them for trying by whatever means they can. It is possible that they prefer to wrote to BGR instead of to anyone else because maybe BGR gets more traffic or has better communication from RIM (after all, they do seem to get more hands-on and their hands on more leaks then anyone else).

Just keep posting your posts like you do, let us choose (as I'm sure we do already-I know I do) what we want to read.

I really enjoy coming here to read your 'stories' and those of the rest of the crew. Thanks for keeping us informed. I guess I am bias because I do love my BB, and that's even though it is old and it is probably the least 'popular'. i really feel that my Storm2 has served me very well. That doesn't mean that I won't shop around when the new ones come out .

P.S. I love my "unfinished" PlayBook too!

conker

As a RIM fan, who will be first in line when the 9900 comes out, I have to say you need to be transparent. I think it would be a dis-service if you don't post negative news. RIM needs to wake-up. I am glad employees are protesting and forcing RIM to react. Look how long it took them to react to Apple!

CVCKDB8

It makes me laugh a little when some of the blackberry die hard fans on here stick up for RIMs CEO's because they claim they dont need bells/whistles just the functionality of a phone, if thats the case stop paying $30 something for a data plan and go get a cheap flip phone that just does standard functions, now Im not saying I'm a blackberry hater because I own a bold 9700, but here we are paying high smartphone prices that are more than a internet plan at home, so our smartphones should have some "bells and whistles", they shouldnt restart on us, browser close on us, buggy OS, not be behind in the times, we are in 2011, smartphones can face chat, stream netflix, NFC, touch screen, turn by turn directions, if RIM is gonna continue to leave lots of things out and low hardware specs, no new innovations, not having meetings with 3rd party support like other products are doing, then guess what? whether you like it or not the youth who are wanting smartphones and the older are gonna want to get with the times and use those "bells and whistles" and RIM will cease to exist, so just because a few thousand are gonna stay die hard and wanna miss out on new innovations, the rest of us wont and RIM wont have "Money/Net Growth" to make it to the future. so in the best interest of blackberry addicts you better hope RIM does innovate and add those bells and whistles or its gonna be Game Over, "Innovate or Die"

radlink14

Every job has internal issues, what job doesn't? Get another f*cking job.

krcockrell

IMO this could be a real employee who is frustrated with the lack of progress RIM is making compared to competitors. It sounds like he wants to be a part of RIM and wants RIM to succeed. What if he feels like this is the only way left to get their attention? I think he is simply stating what everybody else is thinking. I am a big Blackberry fan who is growing impatient myself with the lack of products that compete with Apple and Android. Blackberry needs to step up and show us the latest and greatest that they keep talking about or they will start to lose the most loyal customers. If these letters help to put a fire in RIMs butt then it is what needed to be done.

pmccartney

It strikes me as odd that BGR is the only direct recipient of the letters. RIM employees know of Crackberry too so why not post their open letters here as well?
A dozen or so letters by what are possibly disgruntle (ex)employees out of what...15000? Who cares.
Everyone I talk to that still works for RIM is happy with their career. Then again I don't know more than a dozen personally so my opinion means about as much as the dozen stupid letters BGR claims are authentic.

koool1

I think these letters are probably real and probably from people within RIM who are frustrated with the lack of new product. I love my Torch but it is a bit slow and I love my Playbook but I thought we "would have Torch 2, Bold Touch in our hands by now and a 10" Playbook announced for Christmas already. Instead all I see is nothing confirmed, nothing official and a lot of RIM bashing from the media which is never a good thing.

I really hope the AGM has something good in store. I would hate to see RIM go the way of Palm and Nokia.

Rob FDIinc

The letters themselves dont really mean anything. If the only evidence we could see was a couple of letters from "employees" I too would call BS but the letters are not the only thing out there. RIM is falling behind and they basically have the email as a claim to fame now. I still have my Bold but it gets harder everyday to justify keeping it. The field that i work in has apps that are available on both Android and Apple but not for the blackberry. They need drastic changes to catch up and then move ahead to be the dominant force they used to be.

olblueyez

RIM being managed improperly is undeniable. Their lack of performance for the last 4+ years is a fact and not opinion. Many companies in North America and apparently Canada suffer management by people who don't give a rats ass about employees or the company, it's all about personal gain and achieving the most for the least amount of effort. You may feel the need to argue the merits QNX or Android as solutions and you may be right. Only problem with sliming the product line and improving the software is these things will never happen with the present leadership. They have displayed complacency in their respective roles and apathy towards US, the customers for a number of years now. For them to put RIM in such a disarray they had to knowingly make bad decisions like promoting people for personal reasons and dumping too much work on people who do possess talent and who never got promoted. For them to change these mistakes they will have to admit making them in the first place and THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN as long as these two clowns are pulling in millions and required to produce nothing. This is a common problem in the corporate world. People who skim ALL the cream off the top and constantly pester the people doing the work to find new ways to lower their standard of living and make the work place less efficient and less productive to save money.

"We know about the problems but we have done nothing to fix these problems and will not speak of any solutions in our reply to the employee letters".

I do not approve of people like this and consider them to be Thieves. Because of this, my next device will not be a 9900 or a Monaco as I had hoped.

Kevin,

I think your political correctness has interfered with you voicing what you really think. "They know about the problems and want to fix them" but as you say "No actions equal business as usual" as is typical in the often corrupt world of big business.

The short version is RIM will have to be completely destroyed by the current leaders before anything changes.

mlfgc

Gotta tell ya, as I type this from my iPhone, I wasn't happier to stop using blackberry after having faith in the storm 1 and then settling for the storm 2.

All content works better on a phone NOT named blackberry at the moment. How can you have loyal customers without loyal employees?

I bought a blackberry phone because of Mike Lizarditis' first commercial which seriously impressed me. Then after getting a bb and getting addicted to bb messenger (which none of my friends have anymore), I excitedly installed leak after crappy leak.
But the official releases were even worse.
The bugs were so blatant that it was like my phone ran 10 notches slower after installing. Carriers seemed to do end to end testing way better than RIM and that's when I lost my respect.

I was going to buy a playbook even after getting an iPhone just to witness it can't even compete with the iPad 1 or the droid (insert random manufacturer here).

Whatever... It's just sad it took this long for someone to speak out. What's even more pathetic is a response letter belittling everything that was said. This company is officially garbage.