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RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis walks off of BBC interview

Mike Lazaridis BBC Interview
By Adam Zeis on 13 Apr 2011 11:32 am EDT
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During an interview with the BBC this week, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis ended the session prematurely when asked a simple question on the recent security issues regarding the Middle East. BBC reporter Rory Cellan-Jones asked Lazaridis about the situation to which he responded:

"You implied that we have a security problem, we don't have a security problem ... we've just been singled out, because we're so successful around the world. It's an iconic product, used by business, it's used by leaders, it's used by celebrities, it's used by consumers, it's used by teenagers, we were just singled out." 

Obviously upset by the question, Lazaridis promptly ended the interview saying "it's over ... you can't use that Rory it's just not fair." The issues surfaced late last year when several countries including India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates called BlackBerry use a "security risk". It was thought that a resolution in the matters had been reached, but apparently it still sits as a sore subject for RIM. What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments!

Watch the clip from the BBC

165 comments

Machzy

Stupid me - the clip is RIGHT THERE.

Move along people! Nothing to see here....

dd214

RIM does not have a "security problem"....and that's why the FBI, CIA, State Dept, hundreds of sheriffs and police departments, etc, etc, etc....USE RIM's products to communicate on the job.
The "problem" is not with RIM, it is with the countries in question in their inability to stop RIM's software from being tampered with or breached by those countries. Bottom line, RIM's security is so good, those countries can't read their citizens emails, BBM's and know if they are looking at porn......

Keep it up RIM...

westex#WP

they don't have to breach....RIM gave them the keys to the front door. How can this not be an ethical issue for RIM?? You can't brag about your encryption when you are giving the keys away to people that can hurt your customers.

I totally disagree that the problem is not with RIM. RIM is hand in hand complicit with these governments.

klingon

It is not RIM it is now Blackberry don't forget.

FirstBerry101

Two years ago when that Comment was made it was RIM.. Its funny that you corrected an article that old 8-)

jope28

Are we really commenting on an article this old?

gravymonster

You stay classy, San Diego.

jinxednuance

I agree with Mike! leave Blackberry alone!

skech

I agree. Mike should leave Blackberry!

emailmethere

Give me a break, that just shows his inability to deal with problems and shows how serious the issue really. If it wasn't a problem, he's just brush it off his shoulder. What a cry baby, me me me..., have you ever seen Steve Jobs do that? Singled out? What an idiot. If you can't roll with the punches, then go home, or just buy an apple.

wowreally

talk about being singled out. Why must thou call lord jobs name in scratching attempts.

1. Security issue = false. India wants access to the data, if anything they RIM is safeguarding its users and their privacy.

2. Problem (in its context) = false. Its only a problem because the "cry baby" country of India wants in and bitches when they cannot.

roll with the punches. How about an informed interviewer. If the person asking the questions did some basic research he would have not asked the question in that manner. He would have asked "what is the status in regards to India wanting access to user data and services; have you provided a solution to the government that they are content with, or is it still a work in progress". Uninformed people are ruining in the world they get stuck in their beliefs and ways. The interviewers arrogance is shown there after not accepting his mistake and move on; decidedly rephrases and re-spins his slander.

Like they said never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

The truth is not entertaining, shocking or exciting, this however is and by this post along and many over the "bloggoshere" show how.

emailmethere

Bottom line is that he made himself and RIM look weak.

Plazmic Flame

If this were Steve Jobs, all the Apple followers around the world would have gotten that guy doing the interview fired already.

Seriously, you're talking about something of national security within 3 countries, he doesn't have to give him answers to s***. But the interviewer just worded it wrong by calling it a "security problem". Bad choice of words, I could see how that would set Mike off, and Mike was right, they don't have a security problem. They have a problem with the leaders of those countries and their demands.

TL;DR: RIM doesn't have a security problem, they have a problem with the leaders of those countries and their demands. Poor choice of words from the interviewer.

Blksheep5150

You are obviously detached from reality and have no concept
of corporate war and the competiton is using media outlets
to try to alienate and destroy RIMS ongoing success! I would have done the same thing since I am a successful buisnees owner and most of you Bleeding Heart Socialist Liberals really, really, don't have a clue. I would have told that idiot reporter the same thing! Until you get of that welfare check and having tax paying people pay for your cell phone you need to stop commenting on grown folks buisness and go back to your pathetic little existance and let real men run their very successful buisnesses without interference from illiterate media sources and welfare bloggers like yourself who don't have a life! Get a life and educate yourself real soon dude. If not you might end up as pathetic as President (Obummer) Obama. That's Sad!
Blksheep5150

palmprethemecentral

You need to grow up and get out of this site and come back when you learn how to speak to people in a polite manner. *slap*

klingon

While the first part of what you said made some sense, you then turned into an idiot with your political garbage, no wonder your party is in trouble, you guys are only for people with lots of money, but you need us poor folks to buy your products so you can boasts how rich you are, tell us the name of your business so we can stop supporting you with our hard earned cash.

ignites

isnt it kinda rude when you invite someone of prestige success for an interview and they graciously come for free and you ask them rude questions?

dsquared2

agreed. i would have left

bustermin

I think with as hot a topic that question is, he should have expected it to be asked and have been prepared with a response rather than take his ball and run home mad...

SharpieFiend

Yes, it is inappropriate.

When the BBC invited him for an interview they would have told him what the topic of the interview would be and have sent a list of sample questions, so to deviate like that is unprofessional to say the least.

With 6 days to go before a major product launch it's not to hard to guess what the interview should have been about...

kennyiceberry

That's an unrealistic attitude in my view.

This isn't about manners, courtesy, media ethics, or anything like that, although yes, it would make the world a nicer place, for some, if reporters were polite, considerate and did what CEOs wanted them to do, rather than having initiative, cunning, an agenda and an eye for a good story.

Whichever type of reporter a CEO happens upon, surely a good measure of their capability is the amount of poise coherence and cogency with which they can deal with the unexpected enquiry, without running away, which just looks undignified and even gives the impression that they don't have a reasonable answer for a reasonable question.

SharpieFiend

Seriously? Could you imagine Steve Jobs or Bill Gates having to endure this sort of questioning? It just wouldn't happen... It is all about manners and ethics, plain and simple.

wowreally

a good story... if he had done some research he would not have asked the question in that manner.

By the way there are handlers that to question screening for ceo's stars and the likes, i have worked in the past for many media outlets, that is how it goes down mostly. You can ask about it. It is the reporters job to create a question that he can branch / lead the person being interviewed where they want to take the conversation. You do it many times with family and significant others ask a question that leads where you want it to go...

I am not sure who the CEO was looking at an listening to but that lady in the background may be his handler.

The unexpected inquiry was dealt with (not in the best manner) but was. It was also dealt with in a way that signs for "no more questions in regards to this please, clearly you dont know what your talking about"

Theldonn

There is no reason why Mike L. couldn't have mentioned what happened to the interviewer to get him up to speed. The interviewer was asking a question to clear up the information about the security issues and Mike L. just exacerbated the problem.

juwaack68

Met him a couple years ago at WES/BlackBerry World and he was very arrogant. Not a big fan of his. Love BlackBerry, but him......not so much.

RezaBerry

I second that, he just made an ass out of himself in that interview...

Pete6

Well done MIke.

Whenever the BBC gutter press gets a change to drive a wedge, they never fail to do so especially when, as in this case the interviewer could not possibly have understood the full facts surrounding RIM's security issues in some countries.

imo MIke should have got up and left much earlier. It says a lot for his personal integrity that he stayed and tried to set the idiot reporter right for so long.

3Dee

Is this comment meant to be sarcastic? Gutter press? I don't think I've heard anyone refer to the BBC this way before! Who would you class as a reputable media outlet - the Wall Street Journal and no one else?!?

Kiddo2050

BBC reporters are very good but they are often terrible interviewers.

Even a fair minded person would agree that the question as put was deceptive especially to people that are not familiar with the issues RIM is facing with respect to these governments.

Blackberries don't have a "security issue" it is the citizens of those countries that have a security issue. Their own governments want to spy on them. Blackberry is involved because their product protect user security and any product that does so as well as a Blackberry faces the same pressure.

I mean come on.... take the logical next step and it is the iPhone has no security issue BECAUSE IT IS TOTALLY NOT SECURE!!

mynameisme

+1
It's extremely misleading

sf49ers

we don't know for sure the intent of this interview or what had happened before that question was asked. Mike L seem little pissed with the interviewer.

mthomps07

Sometimes I am skeptical of the communication skills he displays for being the CEO of a major company. Everything you do makes a statement. What statement did he make with this move?

mthomps07

And I know I'm in the minority here. But let me add that as an individual I would have done the same thing. Representing a company, on the other hand, I probably wouldn't.

Shamwari

How do you expect him to have reacted to a question thats unfair, a question thats considered of "national security" by the said countries, you expect him to just dish out all the sensitive information all for what? Just to please an arrogant reporter with an ulterior motive? I think he did well, guess what he has every right to walk into and out of an interview. There you have it.

kristoffersonn

never knew the co- CEO of RIM was the jabba the hut

thenooge

Big who cares!? I've never had a "security" issue with my berry and had actually never heard of this til just now. People walk from interviews all the time, I'm sure it wasn't just this one question, the reporter had probebly been a bit pushy the whole interview and was also probably warned that questions like that were off limits in the first place.

daedone

The "Security issue" was not with phones, but the fact that encrypted data going to and from them in those countries was un-decryptable, since the NOC is here in Canada, and the Intelligence agencies in those countries have no way of getting at the data.

Basically governments were unhappy they couldn't spy on their own civilians as easily as someone with an iPhone or Android.

chrispipe

The security issue there isn't with RIM or Blackberry platform, but with the governments of the countries placing these restrictions and bans on the devices/network. They can't monitor their citizens who use Blackberries, so they get pissed off and tell RIM to gtfo. Sounds more like Blackberry is TOO secure for these shitty countries.

To hell with them, I say.

SoCalTrophyWife

You are right on the money, this is exactly the issue here!

Marc_Paradise

Indeed; and I suspect that trying to explain the difference between a security "issue" as perceived by the government and a security "flaw" as referred to by the industry would have been a lost cause.

Place.of.mind

lol the BBC guy is shit ! + the whole thing is miss understood + he could of dealt with it in a different way

alainas

I looked at the clip and i think it's good. I think RIM is finally getting fed up of reporters twisting things as they like.

I like the fact that he remained calm and after saying we have no security issues or anything the reporters asked if BB users in the middle east or india are going to have problems using their blackberries as if BB has problems.

he may have overreacted but whatever RIM does no one likes even if they succeed still everyone says they are dying.

McNooberson

The interviewer is supposed to report newsworthy information, and that was a big piece of news that came up a little while ago. If you ask me, this is a severe over reaction. If nothing was a security issue, all mike had to do was explain how it was blown out of proportion by the media, and any complaints have been dealt with.

But mike has the right to walk off, since he wasn't obligated to give the interview. His choice, it just looks bad from my point of view.

StampyBeaverbrook

Absolutely. I find it disturbing that people think it rude for a journalist to ask a difficult question. All Lazaridis did was to give the impression that the reporter had him over a barrel, when as demonstrated by some of the people here, he could have answered the question easily.

raj.rai

Mike seemed like he was about to cry

skech

No, he's right. I almost saw tears in the corner of his eyes.

rocketsurgeon

It's a legit question, and has a simple answer: "RIMs security is rock solid, better than any other platform, bar none". He looks silly and childish to run off like that, especially at a time when both CEOs are getting a lot of negative press for public wonkiness. This is the kind of stuff that really hurts RIMs image. Come on Mike, act like a CEO!

gregorylkelly

We don't know the whole story here. The reporter may have been warned not to ask this question or something along those lines. As soon as he asked it, you can hear a woman in the background jumping in saying something. There is DEFINITELY more to this story than just that 1 1/2 minute video clip.

Intosh

EXACTLY!

We can hear a woman (probably a lawer or PR person) sorta objecting the question.

And yes, I would like to watch THE WHOLE THING to see the whole context. I bet that reporter was trolling him from the beginning of the interview.

the brother

trolling like a droid/iphone fanboy on crackberry!!!

Kiddo2050

Wrong, the content of the question might be legitimate but as stated it was not a legitimate question as I outlined above.

I also think th situation is trickier than you and others might appreciate.

The answer might very well be Blackberry users have no worries at all that service will be interrupted, but the Indian and Canadian governments might have told RIM not to make public statement about it.

Also imagine that Mike had said I can guarantee that. The next questions would be how can you guarantee that? If he said no, then that would be headline news, even a no comment would be seen as no.

In the end I don't think consumers could care less what image RIM has as long as their products work.

boldone

The security problem is the government 's security. They can't monitor blackberry traffic.

hrphotoman

We live in the days of overbearing governments. From wire tapping to flat out spying on it's citizens. Remember, verizon got a nice chunk of bail out money. It's no coincidence that they now push google phones over blackberry. Google is, of course, washingon's eyes and ears.

jlb21

You go Mike! It's not a RIM security issue, it is, in fact, a NATIONAL SECURITY issue. As noted above, governments are pissed they can't monitor their people.

It gets me pissed that the press try and twist things like this around.

It's also gets me more pissed that we didn't get to see Mike's PlayBook in action there.

BBThemes

you can! its a linked video on that page!!

WillieLee

It is an unfair question because the reporter is implying that the BlackBerry is a threat to governments. Especially in the case of India, where the supposed deadlines have come and gone several times. There are thousands of companies that have encrypted communications, why weren't any of them mentioned or made to divulge their internal communications?

The media also has portrayed the Mumbai attacks as if they were carried out using BlackBerry devices. The only time the BlackBerry came into the picture was after communications were cut off to the hotel and they used their phones to watch news clips. The attacks were co-ordinated by satellite phones and radios. Yet stories will still refer to potential of terrorists using BlackBerry devices.

bobaloo

I'm a big RIM fan. But I think this is poor form. The interviewer's job is to ask questions, it is the interviewees choice to answer them or redirect them. But walking off is rude. Just plain rude.

Most people doing interviews are not absorbed in the world of the interviewee. who cares. The interviewers perception is probably shared among many people who don't have the complete story. Mike just blew an opportunity to clear things up.

I suppose, had he not walked off there wouldn't be the press on it like there is now. But imagine if a gave a great statement stating the facts and then walked off. Now that would be something ot report on and that would be something that would help clear things up.

Mike doens't seem to be quick to answer questions he didn't expect. That is not the interviewers problem. And let me tell you, Mike should be prepared to answer these questions. It's a big concern for a lot of BB users in those areas.

Compare this to the interview that Chris Brown walked off. take away the destroying the green room and you have the same thing. A sensative person who can't handle the interview taking their lack of a good answer out on the interviewer.

The interwebs will have a field day with this.

Shamwari

while part of your comment somewhat makes sense as a personal opinion (not that i agree with you) but comparing Mike to Chris Brown is just off base, wrong and exposes you lack of comparison skills, what was the under reason for Chris walking away? would you safely conclude thats similar a reason even in the remote likeliness of situations? I bet you not. Chris beat the crap out of someone, yet on the other hand govmnts out there are frustrated they cant crack into BB. Get with it.

bobaloo

I'll quote me:
"take away the destroying the green room and you have the same thing. A sensative person who can't handle the interview taking their lack of a good answer out on the interviewer."

I wasn't comparing the people. I was comparing the narcicist behavior during the interview. The attitude somehow causes them to think they have license to be rude when facing conflict or tough questions.

If I were a bigwig shareholder of RIM, I would be PISSED about how the face of my investment handled himself. I would also ask him those exact same questions at the next shareholder meeting. Those are legitimate quetions of the public concern. If the implication behind the questions is incorrect, then use that opportunity to correct it.

His immature reaction is not the way he should have handled himself. So the wording or implication was unfair, but the question was not. Clearly he reacted that way because he went into the interview ill prepared.

Foolish.

codemaker

Chris Brown didn't walk out of that Today show interview. He finished the interview, then flipped out in the green room later. It is a completely different situation.

Sumantix

He is sitting there with his BlackBerry Dress shirt on and playbook in hand. He was obviously just there to show the thing off.

I can sympathize with both sides here:

On one hand, BlackBerry doesn't have a security problem, they have a problem with overbearing governments that like to invade the privacy of their citizens. Their security is too good and these quasi-fascist governments don't like that they can't keep their people under their thumbs. Not BlackBerry's problem.

On the other hand, these are key markets and if BlackBerry can't get into these markets, it means the stock will drop and the investors will not be happy (which is, after all, what matters most).

I personally didn't think the questions were too insulting and as a CEO you have to answer the hard questions. BUT, if he was invited there to give a demo of the playbook and then was hit with these type of questions I can see how he was caught off guard. Kinda like he was set up.

I'm on the fence...

zensen

this issue certainly took a toll on RIM and apparently the CEO as well.

Either way, it's still a better set up than any of their competitors.

It wasn't a personal attack on him but it certainly felt like that to him and was probably caught unaware since he was probably there to promote the playbook/blackberry and unfortunately others will take advantage of that and its a shame.

greander

It was a legitimate question. He could have given a simple answer and moved on to promote the Playbook he was holding.

RIM has great technology, but its lack of capable leadership could be the death of the company if not remedied soon.

kennyiceberry

100% agree. I've been pushing the same sort of point you make in your second sentence for some time about RIM

SPACE-AGE-INC

I think he should let someone replace him. I never did like his choice of words and answers.

trsbbs

I think it was a fair question, poorly put, but fair and if he can not handle this I am concerned that he can not handle the other pressures that RIM is under.

I think we have just witnessed one of the problems with RIM.

Time for someone to step in that can take the heat, communicate well and address the issues.

Simply said, he took his ball and ran home.

Tim

ugahairydawgs

The interviewer may have been a bit off in his line of questioning, but Lazaridis' "I'm taking my ball and going home" response was less than ideal. The head of a major corporation really needs to have more poise when dealing with the media.

His public demeanor in the past year or so has been very Steve Ballmer-esque (that's not a compliment for those keeping score at home).

shupor

I can certainly understand his frustration and would more than likely do the same thing if i was being asked the same thing over and over again but he should also realize that things like that come with the territory. That was unprofessional and he should quit giving out unscripted interviews if he cannot control his emotions.

royinferno69

wow. I've never seen Mike so upset. At least he has his playbook to cheer him up :D

qnxqnx

Dan Dodge and TAT should lead the entire future vision and strategies executions of RIM.

Jim and Mike needs to take a sabbatical and RELAX, they are not connecting with the investment communities, and clearly Mike is having difficulties containing his angers and frustrations nowadays - see also this NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/technology/companies/11rim.html?ref=te...

RIM has a very solid technical foundation and resources to move to the next phase of mobile computing (the post-pc era) - the alacrity of engineering and manufacturing executions MUST be energized by new blood from the computing communities, not the old guards.

Computing industriy is relentless in its pace of disruptive forces - Mike! you have done an incredible job in leading RIM since inceptions, but there is a time to pass on the baton, the QNX and TAT teams are world-class - time to let someone else to take over RIM's playbook!

sf49ers

dude chill, RIM will succeed to stay relevant irrespective of QNX or Tat because they have long done that, QNX and Tat are only the catalysts and are part of RIM because of the vision and astuteness of Mike L and Jim B, had they been that desperate they would have wasted a billion dollar on Palm bid. They are intelligent people and know how to run their company.

royinferno69

agreed. I think its time they let the new teams they acquired to take over along with a younger more "hip" ceo.

Pilot Prop

lol Mike sounds like a little kid saying "thats not fair...you cant use that"....i think he could have handled the situation a bit more maturely....granted i wouldn't have cared for the question either but he should have known it was coming....maybe he'll learn to be a bit more prepared instead of thinking everybody would be so blinded by the PlayBook(note the PB in his hand) that nothing else would matter.

Izabela07

RIM should cut off all this Arabs and other Muslims from BlackBerry. Every second BBM invitation is from those terrorists. They call white girls prostitutes but all they do over internet and on smartphones they try to hit white girls. No food for dogs!

shebmiller

You should take your racist and ill-founded comments somewhere else. I shouldn't even bother replying to filth like you but I know others will read your comment and think the same thing. Shame on you, and I really hope you eventually find happiness in life.

shupor

Quite the ramblings of a moron. Wonder how much crack you have had today

slider999

Since last year in my opinion Lazaridis shouldn't give interviews anymore. Every time I see him, he shows weakness. RIM should show a clear direction, face problems and correct misinterpretations. They should use other people to represent their products and direction -.-

alainas

Well many are is anxious to see the C guys go even it was them who led the expansion and grew the company since inception and the current vision is theirs i mean they decided to buy QNX, TAT and other companies to bring the new BB experience and ecosystem. I read the NYT article and there was nothing wrong with it he stated facts. No matter how much success they have no one wants to acknowledge that.

He also gave apple credit as being the only company to survive a platform transition. he acknowledged it tough and everything so that article shows that they are aware of what is happening.

What happened here is a snippet of a minute and the question was unfair and he clearly stated why and even after that the reporter made it look as BB users have problems using BB.

The interviewers are not idiots and have no clue what they are talking about but like many reporters (99.99% of anything i read) it is always negative and based on assumptions and no facts as long they bash RIM, BB and the playbook.

akanak

Overreact much? Just calmly clarify your stance and move on. It was a big topic and BlackBerry devices reach a large demographic. As a reporter it is his duty to ask that.

Came across as a guilty big baby IMHO.

shebmiller

agreed. He's far too important and highly placed to react this way.

***EDIT: BUT! The guy doing the interview really pushed on and in all vairness should have just dropped it. OR if he was actually concerned for his middle eastern and Indian viewers, he could have asked the question differently.

feldmen01

Fair question?

Not really...

there is without a doubt that the media chose those words strategically as it would have been just as simple to say that RIM was having issues with the National security in those countries.

RIM has always made security a primary concern and to say otherwise is to slap them in the face.

fsecure

Really who cares! He should have brought Charlie Sheen with him. Just think, he could have sat there and let Charle Sheen go on a 20 minute rant. The company would have been "Winning" or even "Bi-Winning". RIM shares would sky rocket! ROTFL...

ffejie

I don't get it, why doesn't he answer the question this way:

"The problem is not with the Blackberry platform or devices. In fact, the reason we are being singled out is because our platform is *too secure* for many of these countries. Many countries in the middle east want to be able to to monitor users personal and business email and that's not something our platform allows. Simply put: when you use a Blackberry, you know your data is secure. This is counter to many of the objectives of some foreign governments. We've dealt with these governments in one off scenarios to ensure that our users are able to use the Blackberry service and devices with limited disruptions which have been imposed by their own governments."

He could even toss something in like: Our competitors don't have this problem because they do not take security as seriously as we do. They did not build their platforms from the ground up as a secure device.

This can easily be spun as a positive for RIM, and he shuts down the interview? What a mistake.

tenniscpa

Agreed. Mike is a little thin skinned right now for a CEO to be. RIM has been criticized on several fronts, and it seems that each time he gets a little testier. He could have made that interview a very positive thing, and now the media will gig him for this.

qnxqnx

Jim and Mike do not have the ability to articulate and connect with press and analyst community the same way Jobs can.

Witness Mike's performances with Walt and Kara at various All Things-D events.

A major part of the public company CEO job is to convince the analysts, investment and press communities that your company is current and in-the-flow.

Also, whose decision was it to hand-on to MRVL for the Playbook until MRVL screwed up so badly that November, 2010 Playbook release was missed? and whose decision was it to have sure-type in Storm 1, which resulted in an opening for Android devices at Verizon...

codemaker

True, Mike could have used and answer like that and I think that would have been better than what he did; BUT if I was the interviewer, I would have followed up with, "So does that mean those governments can now access user's communications at will?". And maybe that is what Mike was trying to avoid (not that he couldn't handle that question or anything).

I can't make a judgement either way as I don't have all of the information surrounding the interview and surrounding that particular question. AFAIK, thus far the BBC has only published that one clip which naturally makes Mike looks bad, but maybe that isn't the whole story. Obviously the BBC may have an incentive to make Mike look like the unreasonable one here.

ffejie

Agreed, there are openings for the reporter to continue to needle on it. The response is:

"RIM is committed to serving their customers and ensure that we comply with all local laws. In countries where the law says that we must open up, we have made an effort to be more transparent to those governments. We've done this so we can continue to serve our user base in those countries. This question is probably better directed to the specific countries that are in question and not to RIM."

mooda

its very true that this could have been turned into a positive for rim had he answered that question the way you would have. A better Person probably would but as we have seen in the past mike is not the best at public speaking or PR. Further more CEO's dont ask to be interviewed they are asked to come on these shows and there are certain conditions to which the interviewer agrees to abide by. as we could hear a lady objecting to the question the interviewer definitely went off script violating the preset agreement. he was right to leave even attempting to answer the question give the interviewer the satisfaction of getting away with violating the agreement

Kiddo2050

The problem wasn't really the first question it was the second. Can you guarantee that these people will not have disruption of their BB service.

Of course he can' since these countries can do whatever the hell they want. But if he gives that answer it isn't good. If he says the opposite the next question would be how do you know disruption won't happen? This could be a high level national security agreement between India, Canada and RIM. So it's not as easy to answer as people let on.

Should he have shut the camera? Yes. Should BBC have showed that? I don't think so.

shebmiller

Here's the link:

http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/04/13/rim-ceo-flake/

And I don't get this article. It's obviously biased and presumes alot. One would almost think that the author is being paid by RIM's competitors....

thesign

India is overly paranoid and they are jumping on BlackBerry, when Indian news networks were covering the counter terrorist operations live. Giving terrorists instant access to see what's happening. And India's police force is not adequately trained in dealing with such scenarios. They wanted to jump on someone, so they did on RIM. UAE and Saudi monitor content heavily. From calls to sms's. The rest of the world has no problem with RIM. Its mainly over conservative countries that would jump on companies whose services which aren't as transparent as they want them to be. As for how BB's CEO reacted, well I'm sure one bad interview won't do anything bad to RIM's image. They have solidified their place in the global market, and well people in such power get to do what they want :p. He could have handled it better but, what's done is done.

wetsqueegee

what security risk? all i have heard is those governments want access to peoples texts,emails,sites surfed, and any other info they can get their hands on, RIM won't give them that info so.... what now it's a security risk?
because well the fact that iphones can be hacked, text viruses for iphone, pictures stolen and whatever other exploits have been found for iphone aren't REALLY security risks.
hhhmmmm...... i think mike is right BBC is picking on them, just loooking to stir up some boring news.

danielcj

Regardless if the interviewer was off base or not, Mike should have taken the opportunity to clarify the situation. If I lived in those regions I would be interested to know what he has to say but then again he may be legally bound to not discuss what he knows in a public forum. Its a delicate issue for him to discuss and he probably doesn't want to put his foot in his mouth and cause more confusion, but if he is the face of RIM he should have handled it better.

beamolite

Nobody dares asking Steve Jobs tough questions.

ryanlrobinson

I can understand both sides of it. Mike's right that the interviewer shouldn't have kept calling it a security issue. It isn't. It's a political issue of countries who object that BlackBerries are too secure. I also understand saying that as a CEO of a major company he should have had a better answer than that, but he did answer it a couple times first (albeit not that well) and clarify that it wasn't a security issue before he quit. Ultimately I still sympathize with him; maybe he should have known better to expect it but he was unfairly attacked.

greatgoogly

The reporter was doing his job. Co-CEO Lazaridis just failed at his. It's not like he couldn't have anticipated this question. The CEO should be able to spit out an answer to this question in any scenerio. Even if he was invited to the interview to show off the new products, he has to expect a curve ball once in a while, and be able to handle said curve-ball without acting immaturely and non-professionally. That's one of the reasons he gets paid the big bucks.

fatih.kurnaz

I'm device specialist at a GSM operator and have never seen a slow firm like RiM...
They work and act like a turtle..
As I ask them something, they say "we are sorry this is secret "
So many procedures, like a government..
I don't like RiM but love BlackBerry and its developers...

forsakenwaste5

you need to get a grip sis.

ellebetz

That was super lame of the BBC. I would have walked out, too.

OutlandMoro

TBH F*CK Saudi Arabia and the ones against BB. F*CK their whole team. They're all haters, they can't hack it, wankers. Mike is the man. BlackBerry till I stop breathing!!

This is how I feel :D

chrys7

I agree with Mike I am not sure why the GOvt in India feels the need to have RIM as an ass puppet but I wouldnt give them the keys to the bb security doors either, dont like dont use BB.
But granted I would of had a statement ready to deal with that shat!

noTh1ng

pretty childish is what i would say...

rkevwill

People, and especially news organizations need to understand in what context the term "security" is being used here. When the governments said BB was a security risk, they are saying its a security risk to the government, cause they can't crack the emails, to get evidence of terrorism etc. That does NOT mean its a risk for the individual user. What it means, is because BB is SO secure, Governments can't snoop on their citizens, and they don't like it. This is one reason why BB is being forced to locate government accessible servers in countries that have an Orwellian government.

natepnt

I think mike was right to end the interview because attacking rim because the middle east and India have issues with blocking porn on blackberry devices is in no way relevant to security of the blackberry device. RIM has no responsibility in this senses because its governments trying to under mind RIM security not a public hacker. In this way its up to governments to dictate in their county what is allowable content on mobile devices.

LCW

Mike Lardass needs to be fired. He is clearly a clueless leader, and in no position to be leading a company like RIM.

carriv

This makes me wanna break my torch! A damn shame!

gbsn

A CEO that can't deal with issues, that's a first.

mtesm

Wow the interviewer was a complete douche. Clearly he didn't wanna talk about it.. or have those questions aired. Yet he put them up.

sf49ers

why not post complete interview than just the excerpt of the interview, we don't know for sure the tone of the interview and how it went before this question was asked and why Mike L is in the BBC studios in the first place.

br14

Mike Laziridis would not have reacted in this manner had it not been made quite clear to the interviewer that questions about India etc were not going to be answered.

It's common policy to set the ground prior to an interview about what will be discussed.

Where RIM is naieve is in handling this kind of situation. Mike should have had a UK PR person on hand to deal with the interviewer. Instead the situation was manipulated to look bad for Mike.

The interview was clearly meant to be about the Playbook but the UK press (a bunch of arrogant fools for the most part) likes to have an edge. Clearly this fool didn't understand anything about the technology or the landscape involved and thought he'd score a few points.

The BBC used to be staffed by competent and professional journalists but everyone and his wife is now wants to run opinion.

svanneck

Maybe I'm completely off base here, but I thought the reason the UAE and other countries with, shall we say, less than democratic governments consider BlackBerry a "security risk" is exactly because its security is so good. It's not a data security risk, it's a national security risk (at least in the eyes of the government) because they can't eavesdrop on conversations. All Mike had to do was point that out, not to walk off the interview which sends the wrong message.

kmartdanickel

I have to agree with Mike in this case because, if this were an interview with CEOs’ of Apple or Google, a security issue of their tablets would not have come up. The purpose of the interview is to discuss the tablet and the future of Rim. They are indeed being singled out, although the rest of the interview is not given there seems to be another issue that initially upset Mike, from this clip it seems that this is the final straw.

dboy54

I don't think his reaction is a big deal. We are only seeing a small portion of the interview and can only speculate what led to this. I don't think this really adds or takes away from his all ready shaky public persona. But in the future if you are going to get upset with the interviewer do it like Jim Everett did on Jim Rome in 1994.

Here's the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

vx1

man RIM needs to hire some Hot chick to do the PR and take this guy off the PR he's killing their Rep

TeaBoy

what doesn't have security issues?

stubbornswiss

Reminds me of Chris Brown walking off the Good Morning America interview.

Puts Mike Lazaridis and Chris Brown in the same category - UNPROFESSIONAL!

http://music-mix.ew.com/2011/03/22/chris-brown-good-morning-america-frea...

jsn204

perhaps he could have handled it better, but as it was already mentioned, im sure a line was crossed that they prly pre-agreed not to cross

DAMION99

I've kinda of lost respect for alot of the people on here. Mike is extremely professional during the clip and you actually see he was doing this interview as courtesy to the reporter. It was supposed negotiated between the two parties and obviously the reporter decided to ask some redundant questions. Mike answered all the questions he could legitimately answer. Obviously this is a matter of national security so he cant just randomly make statement that are not screened by his lawyers. The reporter know that its a governmental issue and he was still trying to box Mike into a corner. Doing stuff like that doesn't make you a great reporter, it just makes you a total jerk. I swear that some of you people make the most asinine comments.

zegra

In the world of public relations and gonzo journalism concepts such as 'truth' 'right' 'wrong' or 'fair' do not matter. It is all about perception. Mike Lazaridis is the Co-CEO of a multi-billion dollar, global tele-communications company. As such it is his job NOT to harm his company by losing his temper in a public setting. In this instance Mike Lazardis failed at one of the worst possible moments. RIM is on the verge of it's most critical product launch and the global financial markets are uncertain about the company's long-term relavence in a catagory RIM used to dominate. Any leader in this situation must be extra-viligent to appear calm. Mike did not. The only thing he can do now is get back in-front of the camera and eat crow. No amount side-stepping or spin will work here. Nip this now with an unconditional appology and detailed discussion of the 'security issue.'

DJBS4LIFE

Lol who cares if he's a CEO... Who cares if he was the president. We are all damn humans and if you piss somebody off.. What do you expect to happen? There's only so much a person can take and he has a right to be pissed and walk off. I would of done the same damn thing. Just b/c I would be a CEO of a company doesn't mean you can mess with me and I have to sit here and answer your silly little questions just b/c I own a company. It's simple.. You piss a human off, we get pissed and we fight. Don't be little panzies people.

RubiKean

As a Blackberry fan this really irritates me. I often wondered if the RIM leadership was really that out of touch with the rest of the world to think that Blackberrys are relevant when compared to the other leading smartphones. After this news it seems to me that the answer to that question is a resounding YES.
Does Mike Lazaridis just surround himself with a bunch of yes-men (or women)?? "Yes Mr Lazaridis, that tie looks great", "Yes, those pants make your butt look great", "Yes Mr Lazaridis we don't need to spend anytime developing a good web experience because just like you said, we are already the best". This is just one more example to RIMs fans and investors that Blackberry is in trouble and it starts from the top down.
I am not defecting from my BB anytime soon and have my playbook preordered. However, I have high hopes that my next smartphone will be one that doesn't ask me to compromise usability and still has a Blackberry logo on it.

lnichols

Without the entire interview, it is very hard to get context. However with Jim B's comments from a few days ago where he was saying things like "why don't people appreciate X, or Y?" I think the negativity of the market is taking it's toll on both Jim B and Mike L. But in the end it is their own fault for not getting new fresh product to market in a timely manor, declines in their largest established market (US), and a long line of refreshes. Since he has a Playbook in his hands I'm assuming that he thought the Playbook would be the focus. If your tired of the criticism RIM then man up and smack the critics in the face with cool new things.

howl078

Jobs would have beat him with his starbucks coffee.

TBone4eva

One, Just because a reporter is given talking points for an interview doesn't mean they can't ask questions outside of those agreed upon points. If every reporter did that, we would never get real interviews because they'd all be canned, pre-rehersed responses. If Mike doesn't want to answer the question, he simply says that he doesn't agree with the premise of the question and asks to move on to another question.

Two, people need to stop deflecting and defending Mike. If it were an interview with Steve Jobs around the time of Antennagate he would have been asked about it and Steve Jobs might have thought it was unfair too. However, that's why they are billionaires and have the job that they do. You can't think that everytime you do an interview that you are going to be thrown softballs.

Three, Mike and Jim have been complaining about RIM being treated unfair recently and this is just an extension of that. There was an article in the New York Times a few days ago where he complained about all the doubts being focused on RIM's products even though RIM's profits and numbers of units sold have been increasing.

Mike needs to stop the crying and complaining and shut people up by powering through the interview and making sure RIM is making competitive hardware with a competitive OS and UI experience.

Scroat

All Blackberry's should be banned, they are terrorist tools. 911 was orchestrated by Muslims using blackberry's. Canada is a terrorist training ground. RIM is a front for Al Queda. Osama Bin Laden cannot be found because he uses a blackberry. India and the middle east are doing their part to fight terrorism. The rest of the world should ban blackberry phones too.

Zizzzzy

Lol, thanks for this!

R1cE

The RIM PR lady in the background said
"Sorry Rory, thats about all for today and we are really up on time. Is there one more question you'd like to ask?"

"Sorry Rory, but we are really up on time...."

Thought ppl would like to know

jwn66

I thought he answered fine. Less curse words then I would of liked but all in all, what's the problem?

Kiddo2050

For everyone saying Mike did a bad thing -- RIM stock up 2% today first time in a few. Market doesn't seem to think it was a big deal.

Kuttysark

So, I went to the bbc site and saw the actual clip. IMO he clearly states it's a National security matter, which does make it unfair to ask in my opinion. If you remember BB were so secure countries had to ask RIM to give them access to monitor would be terrorists. I think it's all about other nations sense of security. Would you want government details going through a foreign nations servers instead of your own?

Anyways, just my 2 cents

Kiddo2050

The damn Brits they are still pissed that Canadian no longer give a hoot about them, unlike their little brothers the Aussies.

LupinBandit

BlackBerry is a security risk, but not to you or me. BlackBerry's are security risks to central governments. What is good for one is quite often bad for the other. Those MENA countries' governments don't like BlackBerries because they can't get access to the email. That's good for you and me and the human being using the email. It's bad for the power-hungry government/dictator.

Security risk? Yes, thank goodness!

Techno-Emigre

This is more complex than shows. First, there was probably an invitation for an interview to show off the PlayBook. There was also probably an agreement that open legal or diplomatic issues would not be brought up. The interviewer is supposed to seek good information, but obviously did not do the homework he should have done before the interview and had no understanding of the issues. Therefore, the questions were uninformed and lacked intelligence.

On the other hand, even tho ML showed surprise at the question, he should not have been. He should have some little educational answer prepared that he can give to set the record straight in a professional manner for those that aren't informed. He probably thought that interview was one thing, there had obviously been some type of parameters set that were ruptured, and it turned out to be something else. I am sure it was beyond annoying for him and disappointing for RIM.

Both the interviewer and interviewee could have done better. My guess is there was some tension immediately preceding the camera starting to roll. That said, we truly cannot have big opinions about it because we have only limited information about the whole story. Too bad, and did nothing to clarify for listeners who truly do not understand and are now more confused.

I think RIM needs to try to set up another interview with a more experienced, informed interviewer.

ether83

ok some things to get off my chest but 1st I am a Blackberry owner and user and not a troll, i'm just being honest.

1 - This website has gone majorly downhill, used to check it daily but just find it so boring recently. There is a distinct lack of interesting content. Seems to be endless 'leaked OS for ****' and new picture of XXXX device. Probably not website creators fault but lack of interesting news from RIM

2 - The website is filled with biased fanboys who seem to blindly defend anything RIM/Blackberry related.

3 - This is very unprofessional of Mike Lazaridis, he is a CEO of a major international company yet looks like he is about to cry when asked a fairly mild question by a journalist. Yet the fanboy's defend him, ooh wasn't Rory the BBC journalist being mean boo hoo

You won't be seeing me round these parts again

and breathe. rant over carry on

byyyeeeee

Theldonn

What an idiot. Your responsibility as a CEO for a company is to answer any question regardless of the context in the best interest of the company. Mike L. did not show this today. Mike L. owes a public apology or should probably step down. It is his job to answer those questions, not shy away from them.

He should have answered with something along the lines of, "we have been cooperating with the Indian and African governments and we can assure that there are no security issues for our blackberry users."

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy my Blackberry device and I hope RIM is successful, but that presentation was a display of a CEO that is ready to move on.

southlander

Good for him. The reviewer was obviously trying to change the nature of the issue by poor choice of words, even after the RIM CEO corrected him.

tumer

look before they do these interviews they are told what not to ask about and the assw at bbc tried to test his luck and asked anyway so mike pretry much told him to f off!!
the end

jaycee58

The question was perfectly justifiable and Lazaridis really made a fool of himself, presumably helped by the female in the background. When the issue with India and other countries first came up I was concerned that governments everywhere would be pressurising RIM into making its systems less secure so that it could monitor its citizens. The UK would, I am sure, love to be able to keep tabs on us, as we're all regarded as terrorist suspects unless we can prove otherwise.

What on earth did Lazaridis expect to be asked? Only nice questions, fawning in manner, about how great RIM is and how wonderful will your next product be? How does this guy deal with questions from shareholders at RIM AGM's etc? Perhaps they keep him well out of the way? Or are RIM shareholders too nice to ask difficult questions? I somehow don't think so.

The BBC is by no means perfect but it doesn't grovel to anybody except the British royal family, to whom it grovels without apparent shame. Nobody else, from the Prime Minister down, gets an easy ride!

tomtomtom

I think the more Mike talks about this topic, the more likely he will upset those countries. I frankly think the interviewer either wants to exploit the problem and get the government's attention to expedite the blackberry ban in those countries.

Boldly_Berry

BBC ask the question as if it was a fact BB has a security problem. It doesn't!!!
The problem is that the Arab countries were not able to monitor private conversations. They felt not being able to was a security risk for their country.
That speaks volumes for how good bb security truly is. No way Mike could say this without angering the Arabs thus costing Rim millions.
He did the right thing BBC purposely set him up by asking a question that had no bases of truth in it.

thymaster

The question was not address appropriately. If I was Mike I would have storm out of there too.

If he did stayed and clarify the issue he would have gotten himself into bigger trouble. He would probably mention India or Saudi Arabia as an example of dictatorship government wanting access to their citizen private stuff. This would lead to a political debate and anger between RIM vs. half of Asia. He has to be very careful what he says because BBC is an international news company and if this leaks out those country would shut down RIM in a heart beat and the entire city of Waterloo will be shut down.

The reporter kept on taunting Mike with the same unorthodox question without realizing that he's the one making the mistake. He has such an aggressive approach, he didn't know when to stop when or didn't even get his fact right before hand. If there is an apology here it should be from the reporter not Mike.

don.new

Mike looks real unhappy, as though his life is under threat if he says the wrong thing. I am less inspired to buy his products after seeing this.

TheEdge

The battle for 3rd / 4th place now, the supposedly doa tablet, the stock price declination, the bending over for android app integration.... he had to breakdown.... he's only human afterall.

Coming back to the interview...... Mike can't do interviews period. He has no charisma at all. And that total classless act back there.... enough said.

Next time get a PR person to do this if a CEO can't pull off interviews. It's not like RIM can't afford to hire one.

NDO

This is a national security issue which is almost positively tied to very strict and ironclad NDAs. Did you ever think that maybe he was not at liberty to even speak about it. Nobody knows what legal ramifications RIM would face if he answered that. The only thing he could say there other than what he did was that he could not comment on that. However I think that was implied by his first response, but after being pushed to answer like he was I would have done the same thing. Its one thing to throw a curve ball but he hit the batter. He asked a question that he was most likely asked not to touch in the interview.

I deal with NDAs on a daily basis and they are not nearly as strict as the ones that are probably in place with this issue, and I would never dream of breaching them. I don't blame Mike for what he did. He covered his and RIM's A$$ and that is what a CEO should do. Way too much at stake for him and RIM to answer that question.

kensington

He's an alcoholic. Look at the nose. He was probably anxious to go get a drink. No biggie. He and my father should hang out.

wshwe

RIM's security isn't absolute. RSA's certainly wasn't. Any security scheme created by man can be broken by man. RIM is a very juicy target because so many people use it. The BBC had every right to ask Lazaridis security questions. They're real journalists. If Lazaridis wanted a puff piece he should have been interviewed by someone like Larry King.

Gamesdmc3

lol,he knows bringing something up like that is bad for business,it will make people think twice before going the bb route

astraith

I think this clearly upset Mike, and that Mike did the best thing to end the interview if he can't handle the question. Whether or not RIM has a security issue or not in my opinion is not the question. The problem is that looked rather unprofessional. How, you might ask? He wouldn't look the interviewer in the eyes, which means that he may not entirely believe what he is saying (or trying not to yell, whichever one it might be).

If this was Ruby from HP, I think he would have handled it better. I also think many other execs would have, as well. I just think it hit a cord with Mike and he wanted to end the interview before he did something he would regret. As it is right now, it's not really that bad (most people in the world wont even know this happened).

westex#WP

This was absolutely a fair question. Lazaridis can argue about semantics all he wants, but.....

RIM has granted access to governments of several countries to snoop in on RIM's customers private affairs.

What do you RIM apologists think those countries are gonna do when they find something they don't like? Write a nasty letter to them? RIM may have signed the death certificate of some of it's customers.

It is akin to a company selling door locks, and touting the security of their door locks, then giving a spare key to the local Mafia boss.

This is a problem for RIM, in my opinion......

timhorton

Mike was RIGHT! Look at this article from Barron's. Apple tracks your location. It tracks where you've taken your iPhone. Why does Apple get a pass but RIM gets vilified?

Apple: iPhone Logging Your Travels, Programmers Reveal
http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2011/04/20/apple-iphone-logging...

CarBob

I know I'm replying to an old article but I would like to mention a few things.

Mike Lazaridis is a brilliant engineer who invented the BlackBerry. If it was not for him, there would NOT be any BlackBerrys.

Mr. Lazaridis hand-picked Thorsten Heins to be his successor, and Mr. Heins still consults with Mr. Lazaridis. Also, Mr. Lazaridis has donated millions of dollars of his own money to the university in Waterloo in order to develop future generations of computer science engineers.

As far as security is concerned, BlackBerrys are the most secure smartphones in the World.

BlackBerry by choice.

Sudden_Berry

Super old article is showing on the main pb page! Admins, please fix this! Also, this article is shameful.

rtscom

He wasted an opportunity. The security problem being alluded here was the security problem encountered by these countries cause they are unable to spy on blackberry users. It did not mean Blackberry devices are not secure. In fact, they are very secure. It's just that if in the wrong hands, it causes security problems to governments.