CEO Interview 1

RIM's New CEO Addresses CrackBerry Nation "Give us feedback; help us always get better!"

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CrackBerry talks to Thorsten Heins

Part V and Conclusion of CrackBerry's Interview with RIM's New CEO

As we concluded our first Q&A with RIM's new CEO, I quit with the questions and opened things up for Thorsten Heins to address CrackBerry Nation directly. For all our longtime members, readers and BlackBerry fans around the world, this is for you... an address to CrackBerry Nation, from the CEO of Research In Motion himself:

First, I want you to be our #1 Fan Club, that's for sure. Second, give us feedback. I want you to be with us, I want you to help us to always get better, and give us credit for what our people are doing. Understand how much and how hard the people here are working and I think you're doing a good job of this. I'm ready to stay in touch with you Kevin and your base. We will make this a journey together, and it's going to be fun. 

Honestly, it's hard for me not to get emotional reading those words. When CrackBerry.com went live in February 2007, I really didn't know what the future would hold for us. All I knew was that I was hopeful and excited for the future of BlackBerry and CrackBerry. As Resesarch In Motion enters a new era, I'm having the same feelings again as I did five years ago. Hopeful and excited. Let's Rock & Roll This CrackBerry Nation!!

"We Were Not Disciplined Enough" RIM's new CEO explains how they will deliver products to market on time

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CrackBerry talks to Thorsten Heins

Part IV of CrackBerry's Interview with RIM's New CEO

Let's face it. Delivering products to market on time has never been one of Research In Motion's strong points. When we asked CrackBerry readers for questions to ask RIM's Nnw CEO, an overwhelming number of you wanted to know exactly how will RIM change their ways to become a company that can deliver products to the market on time.

RIM's Thorsten Heins acknowledged that the company was not disciplined enough in the past, spending too much time tweaking products already set for production. Heins put the blame solely on the management structure and was clear "that has nothing to do with our people, they have worked day and night and are totally enthusiastic." Heins intends to keep the start-up mentality and innovation coming, but in a more scalable way, "by putting small teams together, assigning them dedicated tasks, making them accountable, and giving them funds to fulfill their tasks rather than being distributed over 3-4 programs. That happened in the past, and that led to programs getting omitted frankly."

On the people front of the transition from BlackBerry OS to QNX, Heins says RIM "figured out pretty fast that those [QNX] resources are not sufficient enough", so the company has been working to realign their Waterloo-based BlackBerry OS coders over to the new platform. It's definitely a challenge for those programmers who have worked on one platform to learn something new and Heins noted that he is really happy to see people taking it on. "We have now rearranged all the resources properly, all the leadership is clear, all the team's tasks are clear, and people work together, so we have achieved a different level of efficiency now in that part of the platform development."

I'm hoping this new structure works for RIM. I'm jonesing for a BlackBerry 10 phone! You can listen to the audio above and read the full Q&A below for more details. 

BlackBerry Messenger on other Platforms? RIM CEO says "There is a time where this might make sense"

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CrackBerry talks to Thorsten Heins

Part III of CrackBerry's Interview with RIM's New CEO

Continuing along in our interview series with RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins, we asked the question that so many smartphone users have been asking for a long time now. Will we ever see BlackBerry Messenger on other Platforms? The BlackBerry Chief said "you should never rule this out" adding "there is a time where this might make sense".

The topic of cross-platform BBM has been debated often on CrackBerry. Our last poll on the subject put the community at 71% in favor of RIM putting BlackBerry Messenger onto other mobile operating systems, but with BBM being such a strong hook keeping users tied to BlackBerry it's definitely not a clear cut business case. At least we now know this is something RIM is definitely looking into.

On the hot topic of licensing out the BlackBerry OS, Heins says people should not put this into a black or white category. Heins is "open for licensing if it makes sense". Heins made it clear that he "was not hired to build a licensing company" but rather was "hired to take BlackBerry to new heights" and plans to do just that with his team.

Listen to the audio above, read the Q&A below and let us know in the comments where you weigh in on this one!

Says RIM CEO: "There is a LOT of Change!"

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CrackBerry talks to Thorsten Heins

Part II of CrackBerry's Interview with RIM's New CEO

After breaking the ice and throwing a couple of straight forward questions at RIM's new CEO in our Part I Interview,  we tackle some of the hot topics surrounding Research In Motion and their current BlackBerry strategy. 

You'll want to listen to the interview above and/or read the Q&A below as we get passionate straight talk from Thorsten Heins. Seriously, if you haven't been won over by the new BlackBerry Chief yet, this may be the interview that does it.

We really are entering into a new era for Research In Motion here. This is a CEO who admits RIM has missed on commitments in the past, admits RIM is choosing the harder way (as compared to building upon Android), but 100% believes in the strength of the company and the current strategy they have chosen to execute on. 

"Let's Rock and Roll this!" CrackBerry's Interview with RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins

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CrackBerry talks to Thorsten Heins

Part I of CrackBerry's Interview with RIM's new CEO

Just as the news became public Sunday night that Thorsten Heins was named the new CEO of Research In Motion, I received a phone call from him letting me know personally that he won the leadership race and it wouldn't be CrackBerry Kevin and a Ham Sandwich at the reigns of RIM in 2012. It was a classy gesture and a clear signal that RIM moving forward will be more engaged with its user community. On that call Thorstein promised he'd give us a few more minutes of his time this week so we could actually throw a few questions his way (as you can imagine, I was completely unprepared for the first call!). RIM's new CEO delivered on his first promise to CrackBerry Nation and on Wednesday I was able to connect with Thorsten again.

Between Monday's RIM conference call, the official BlackBerry youtube videos, and the various television interviews Thorsten has given this week to other media outlets, we've already seen and heard a lot from the new BlackBerry Chief. A lot of the things said have given us plenty of reason to get excited for this new era of BlackBerry, while some of the messages making their way out into the media seem to already be shooting the new leadership direction down before it has even had a hint of a chance to execute. So I took this opportunity to get clarification on some of the mixed messages that have been making their way out there and dig deeper into other topics that have been covered this week. We cover a lot of things and found Thorsten to be great to talk to -- personable and a straight shooter with a sense of humor. In true CrackBerry fashion we will be be bringing the goods to the blogs here in a series of posts, so you'll want to keep it locked to CrackBerry. 

But before we get to the heavier hitting questions we start with a couple of easy ones... listen above or keep reading as we break the ice and get the ball rolling on CrackBerry's first interview with the CEO of Research In Motion. I've been waiting five years to do one of these, so yeah... we're going to rock and roll this!!