RIM stopped the Q&A session at their Annual General Meeting of Shareholders at the right time; there were NOT 20 people in line

AGM Crowd...
By Kevin Michaluk on 14 Jul 2012 10:20 am
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Between heading to Waterloo to attend RIM's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and visit BlackBerry HQ, it's been a busy week for me. I'm still playing catch up on a lot writing and reading. But last night / this morning in bed I was catching up stories from the week on my PlayBook. Seeing a lot of wrongly-reported stories out there, I felt the need to write this one ASAP to clarify things.

Apparently RIM has received a lot of flak by the media from people saying they cut off the Question & Answer period at the AGM too early. I even saw people saying that when Barbara Stymiest ended the Q&A session there were still 10 people lined up on both sides of the auditorium waiting to ask questions (this was said by a certain individual who left the AGM early to give an interview to BNN who wasn't actually in the room to see it... I know this as the AGM went long and when it finished I had to sprint from the auditorium to where BNN was setup to do my interview and when I got there this guy was finishing up).

Sitting in the audience and looking back, there were maybe *two* people lined up at the microphones on either side. There were a few others standing by the walls, but they were not in line. They were standing there throughout the AGM. AND... the people who were "cut off" at the microphone were people who had ALREADY ASKED QUESTIONS. They went to the back of the line, waited, and came back to ask more questions. ANYBODY who truly wanted to ask a question in that audience absolutely had plenty of opportunity to do so.

RIM ended the Q&A in exactly the same manner last year. Once you get the same people going back in line again and again asking more unrelated, off-topic questions, you kill it. And thank god RIM did.. or I'd still be sitting there listening to some guy go on about China and security.

If you tuned into our live blog from the AGM or listened to the webcast, you'll know that most of the questions being asked during the Q&A we're pretty irrelevant. An AGM isn't the venue to complain about ShopBlackBerry being out of stock of Rapid Chargers. There were maybe a few good questions. One guy did go on a rant (he really didn't ask a question) which got applause from the crowd calling for more change on the board. That message definitely did get across to the board (diversity is good - I'm always in favor of more diversity). I even asked RIM's CEO Thorsten Heins about this the next day during our sitdown, and he acknowledged this and said that Barbara Stymiest "is working on enhancing the capabilities of the board". I think you will see some further change happen there.    

But as for RIM ending the Q & A too early. I call B.S. They did it right.

/endrant 

Kevin Michaluk Kevin Michaluk "Founder, Editor in Chief " 3920 (articles) 3285 (forum posts)
53 comments

tendenzi

So.... RIM doesn't even have 20 people who still give a crap about what's left for RIM to do? Are you saying they're less interesting and only a handful of people cared to divulge themselves in some Q&A at the AGM? This is kind of weak. Are all AGM's attendees this unenthused and lacklustre.

Kevin Michaluk

Nooooooooo......

You missed the point. There were already like 20 questions asked. The Q&A session went on for 30 minutes or so (maybe a bit more), and then they ended it once people were coming back and asking questions AGAIN. So there were plenty of people who did ask questions. I'd argue the majority of the questions weren't very good, but there were some solid ones in there.

What I'm clarifiying here is that when Q&A did end, there were NOT 20 people left waiting at the microphones (10 on each side) as a lot of the media out there has reported.

battery

Seriously? I'd hate to be you.

roderickwill

Its like a double edge sword for RIM nowadays, first you have shareholders complaining they aren't properly inform and need more answers to what RIM is doing to turn the company around and so forth. Then when they are presented with an opportunity to have RIM address their concerns they ask the stupidest questions and then turn around and point their finger at RIM for not conveying a proper Q and A.

I say this all the time common sense is really not that common.

At this point the next thing we need from RIM is confirm carrier release dates. Oh and a 4G playbook so I can finally buy one.....

Jerky223

A lot of Tech reporting is becoming hearsay and non-educated writing. Everyone is after attention and clicks to generate revenue. Even when a story is proven untrue, there are no retractions.

I'm glad you're taking your time Kevin and writing the articles that you are. It shows that you want to get the story correct instead of just pumping out the crap the other people are.

kennyiceberry

Careful. I wouldn't get too carried away and end-up over-congratulating those for whom its a raison d'etre to promote a more favourable perspective about RIM. Balance and fairness for RIM is necessary and laudable, yes. However, true disclosure about RIM seldom comes from the cheerleaders. It more often than not comes from the hard news sources, despite their faults.

orenzai

you obviously dont read enough crackberry.

Blackberry_boffin

RIM seems to have attracted a lot of gullible and get rich quick investors. Gullible in that they believe "anything" said by "anyone" other than RIM itself. Get rich quick in that in RIM's current situations immediate returns basically should not be the main focus. They are actually distracting the people they invested in. Its okay to ask for accountability but you need too ask questions that are relevant and not rehash on something already explained. That hampers everyone from moving onto yet undiscussed issues.

avatsaev

crackberry ispretty fucking boring these times. I want informations about new devices and BB10, and not some company internal bullshit.

Kevin Michaluk

We cover everything.. if you don't like it, scroll down.

But I'm with you.. would rather be writing about new devices than company stuff. 

roderickwill

Unless you have a writer like Kevin the BB10 you crave so much becomes that much harder to reach a person who's on the fence about their mobile device. Sure he can sit up here and report about BB10 all day that's all fine and dandy. But at the end of the day what he really is doing by writing stories like this is giving those people whom are on the fence clarity from all the "B.S." they are presented with about BB.

While you have you your right to your opinion try to look at the big picture of stories like this its here to change the perception of the misinform one story at a time..

Techno-Emigre

Thanks for these well-informed articles, Kevin. I know it is a lot of work, but we sure appreciate it.

I think you need to start positioning yourself to be taken more seriously in the tech blogosphere. Of course, that means a hair and wardrobe makeover LOL, so you will have to consider this carefully. Of course, I don't want you to trade out the hair strike for a Ghandi-like hunger strike or anything ...

I really appreciate that RIM is considring the BB failthful in speaking to you, rolling out info to us as we get closer to BB10, etc. It makes good business sense, and we love it.

neilmann

Legitimate question was legitimate. The crazy old man asking about Chinese hackers had a legitimate concern. When you have your dollars invested in a company that prides itself on security, a statement from the CEO somewhere along the lines of "We are doing our best at keepings secure and we are not worried these about hackers" would have eased his concerns a little bit better than the non-answer he was given. He was still a crazy paranoid old man who seems a bit out of touch with things, but i don't fault him for asking.

Kevin Michaluk

Asking the FIRST time was fine. Then he came back again and got on the topic again. And would have again. And again.

neilmann

I would have to agree with you on that

BBPandy

I'm looking forward to an article from Kevin on Vic Alboni

aha

Who is the individual again?

BBPandy

It was Alboni, the guy who is trying to get RIM sold, cut up, & sold as parts.

He's hard to miss he's always doing interviews ect. Talking about how bad RIM is & how they need to be taken out.

midinc

every shareholder has the right to ask ask what they want. what is relevant to some, may be irrelevant to others and vice versa.

as a mere employee, you have to do as you're told. it would be interesting to have articles from non-employees really.

That would give a more reflective balance. it appears stories here are being created rather than print nothing because we're all waiting on bb10.

i may be new to the forum but thats my opinion.

LeonardoDaVinci

Crackberry is independent of RIM/Blackberry. They are not employees of the company, just a website that reports on it.

tjseaman

Opinions are like ahole$, everyone has one. Unfortunately, you perhaps should have read a little bit about CrackBerry and this site you decided to join,share information with and post comments on. You just made yourself sound like a complete fool. By the way Kevin isn't just a mere employee, he's the #1 BlackBerry Fanboy and Founder and Editor in Chief of CrackBerry.com, and Chief Media Officer of Mobile Nations.

newcollector

Really appreciate the variety and the carefully researched articles, Kevin. Your correction of an article written by one of the staff does a great deal to clarify the continuing positive change in RIM's communication policy toward more openness. Like many, I have lost a chunk of change on my RIM investment, but I am in this for the long haul. While the challenges are huge, the opportunity for turnaround becomes even more dramatic. what I am hearing from RIM gives my little pea brain hope that the future will be brighter.

randall2580

Nothing like being there in the middle of it - enjoying your reporting Kevin and looking forward to more...

LeonardoDaVinci

The volume of misreporting lately has been annoying and unnecessary. I'm particularly disappointed with Canadian media agencies who jump on the gossip bandwagon. If they want to report negative things about RIM, there's plenty of material for them to do so without exaggerating or making things up. The other day I was listening to a southern Ontario radio station talking about former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis' new lakefront home/compound/retreat and how with RIM's current state it will more likely be torn down than completed. While the comment reflects on the level of the radio personality's ignorance, the sad fact is that most who heard it probably took it as fact because of the level of general misinformation out there. RIM seems to be working hard to be get the facts straight, but it's almost pointless with the way the media is behaving.

doug1010

Great article. Thanks for setting it straight.

Wow, anything RIM does, the media will put a negative spin on it. And now they're just blatantly lying. It's pathetic.

I saw many news stations reporting on those rumours that RIM would be splitting off its software/hardware divisions. Complained to them that they never even did an update on the rumour. Their next story was "RIM Stocks fall!"

Hmm I wonder why. Maybe because you're reporting on rumours and make no retractions. Maybe some day the rumour might become true and you can say Told you so! But if they aren't true they say nothing. So convenient.

And this is the bloody news station in waterloo (owned by rogers). They also reported on that one that said that playbook was being discontinued. They did not say anything when it was proven untrue. And when i said something about it, they said that BGR is a reputable source >.>

mnhockeycoach99

BGR is about as reputable when it comes to RIM as Kim Kardashian is about giving marriage advice. Geller is a little smug jerk(I have other more choice works to call him but i'll keep it PG)that allows garbage about RIM to be posted on his site...yet he won't respond to Twitter comments directed at him....

midinc

Oh there not employees of Mobile Nations then. Next time you wanna jump on one my comments, think. Nobody said they were employees of rim.

G-bone

Your perspective seems a little bit odd.Comments from non-employees of Mobile Nations are right here and in the forums.
I don't get your complaint...

mnhockeycoach99

With all due respect, I think the problem is that your comments above don't make a lot of sense.

morganplus8

The report by Kevin was first rate, if you don't like the content or who it came from don't read it. There is nothing hidden in the title that would cause you to waste your time. Let's face it, this might be one of the longest titles for a story, ever written!

What is refreshing to see these days, is that RIM is now stepping forward and properly addressing the media mis-conception of news events. They waste little time correcting false claims and that is not something we have been used to seeing for a very long time. I commend Kevin for doing his part, I always read all of his work for biased reporting and come away believing his articles are not meant to influence or sway us in one particular way.

I have heard from others who attended the meeting that Kevin's take is essentially the same thing. Again, read the title, everything you need to know to decide if this article is for you, is right in that title. Don't shoot the messenger!

Markmab

This is my opinion and not the opinion of Crack Berry. Jaguar Financial are a bunch of self serving as@ holes. Taking advantage of free publicity at the expense of Rim/Blackberry.

Camfella

The first I heard about Rim cutting short the Q & A session was right here on the crackberry podcast!

HabsSuck

Kevin is 100% right there were only a few people who were waiting to ask a questions but they had already had asked. If anything the Chair could have said we have time for two more before ending the AGM. I was interviewed as I left the AGM and essentially said it was a non event as nothing new was disclosed.

I do regret not asking a question, if I could go back to Tuesday I would have asked Mike Lazaridis and the Chair why they refused to protect the brand? The media have had a field day with RIM and lot on the stuff they have spewed has been false poison. Don't you all understand that the negative crap in the USA have all but killed RIM in the eyes of US consumers.

I am gald finally senior execs are fight back and especially Alex Saunders. This is war my friends and RIM better be prepared to fight and fight dirty if necesary.

Time to Wake Up RIM we're rooting for you!

fsecure

Another false story about RIM cutting off people who wanted to speak at the AGM. Is anybody truly surprised? Apple and Google, who by the way have a ton of $$$, can pay anyone to say what ever they want. Between the two of them I am sure they control the majority of the media anyway. It's just to show you that you should never depend on one source of anything.

Finally, here's hoping that Apple and Google will also get distracted from the smart phone market and perhaps look at purchasing an NHL team of their own. Something that I feel got RIM in the mess that they are in today.

HabsSuck

What got RIM in this place was not embracing the app explosion and not producing an all touch device that worked.
Finally they get it albeit late but Qnx os will blow the competition.

Rootbrian

Tell the media to shut up with the lies and CORRECT the story. Good reporting. The media wouldn't hire truth tellers, only liers. :D
CRACKBERRY is the #1 source of news on BlackBerry.

Perjade

The same old story ! When your team is loosing it's always the referee's fault !

Android Market for QNX

Good reporting Kevin, all I hear these days is RIM bashing everywhere. Sure, they deserve a lot of flak for the management's incompetence, but I think the media is really just killing them here with one negative story after another. Perception turns into reality, where RIM nowadays is driven into the ground with its reputation shattered.

kastortroy

To all the paid mass media and trolls who purposely spew misinformation, a quote from the late Jim Morrison " YOU'RE ALL A BUNCH OF F#*!!KIN SLAVES ".

kastortroy

Never said i was being original, hence the quote from Jim Morrison. Just sick and tired of all the regurigated stuff everyone keeps spewing at Rim. Im also an investor, albeit a small one.

example: If you have close friend who keeps making mistake, but continually tries to fix his behaviour do you encourge him or beat the crap out of him till he commits suicide.

Berries are respected everywhere in the world xcept north america, and why is that? Hint, US is in deep drowining recession (100+ trillon debt) while apple and google (US based), helps slowing recession and US ecomomic collesps. RIM is canadian based. See the bigger picture, or do you still live with mommie and daddy and living on your allowance. In which case, forget what i have said and go keep watching your netflick.

Peace

kennyiceberry

You almost had a cogent point until the insult. Minus 10 points! I'll tell you something. Yesterday, I bought myself a Playbook 16GB. My wife wondered why I wanted one, given that I'm quite critical of RIM/BlackBerry. Well the answers are: it's a solid, well-made device, with a smart operating system after the latter's update to 2.0. Additionally, as an owner of a Torch 9810, I will of course have the benefit of using BlackBerry Bridge to make for an even more advantageous offer. Not to mention that after RIM's strategic discount, this excellent tablet is perhaps the best value-for-money one available in its general specification. So you see, I'm no mere mindless sniper from the sidelines. I am a BlackBerry fan! I'm also a grown-up. And I am not prone to indulge in wishful thinking, or making excuses for the inexcusable. I think RIM deserves all the opprobrium it gets when it collectively makes face-palmingly dumb missteps. I also think credit is due where it's deserved [e.g. In the case of Thorsten Heins, who I don't think has put a foot wrong so far - NB, the root cause of the delay of BB10 is unlikely to have come about on his watch].
Overall I find those who attack anyone who says anything negative about RIM are not being entirely reasonable and perhaps at worst immature. Such a person's attitude suggests that RIM is a bastion of corporate and strategic perfection and beyond any sort of reproach. Give me a break! Also get real. And maybe grow up too.
And by the way it's 'Netflix'.

kastortroy

LOL. Looks like it seems we have an intelligent and mature individual behind those 2 words. Guess I will have to man up and apologize for that last statement made. I understand where you are coming from, as I to have been critical of Rim's past actions. Their failure and arrogance to dismiss apple and it's competitors. They, of all people, should have grasped the seriousness of their dilemma with the rapid popularity of the iphone and how fast competitors to capitalize on a popular product. I saw this coming,and yet painfully watch as Rim time and time again continually ignore this continuing trend. I respect mike and jim for what they have accomplished, but their failure to react have put Rim literally in a life or death situation.

I'm not speaking from an investor pov here, for I truly care for this company because it's purely Canadian. When you have met real people who actually make a living by companies paying them to deliberately troll forums and posts negatively about competitors, deliberately spreading misinformation to the general consumer I get very annoyed. One has to eventually step up and say say about enough is enough.

I have never seen this much flagrant abuse of a company all my years in tech, and I go way back to the 80's. I even still use my trusty apple newton 2100 when I travel. It's still perfect as a writing tool for me. With my playbook and 9900 its quite the best combination everywhere I go, and also quite the most underrated product out there. Rim has made a major tech innovation, to combine playbook with its berry, and yet all the general consumer cares about is angry birds and netfix and that annoys me to no end.

In the meantime we have to help out his company now and forget its past mistakes, especially since thorten has taken over and building a new path for Rim. We have to give him a fair chance to succeed in his efforts and not allow past mistakes to carry forward.

Peace

Pard

It does not matter how many people were in line at this point RIm needs to give everyone a chance to vent. They pulled the same crap on their earnings conference call. They have created a lot of uncertainty and they would not allow follow up questions. It lasted only an hour and the safe harbor statement took 15 minutes, the only risk factor they did not mention was the moon could collide with Earth. Sorry but this level of uncertainty deserves more transparency not less. Quit running scared and communicate with confidence and clarity for a change, maybe the stock will not get as hammered, Thor. That was worse than any Palm earnings conference call, IMHO, and I listened to them all..