BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion needs to accelerate its technology and product development amid rumours the Canadian company is about to change its top team, according to industry experts.
Ovum analyst Nick Dillon made the claim after a report in the Canadian newspaper The National Post last week (3 January) alleged co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie are on the verge of being stripped of their shared role as chairman of the board. Reports suggest Barbara Stymiest (pictured), an independent board director, is the frontrunner to take over as chair.
A RIM spokesperson did not respond to The National Post report but said a committee of seven independent directors are set to deliver recommendations to the board by 31 January.
The manufacturer is under increasing investor pressure, with reports that Amazon and other suitors considered a bid last year. Its most recent results revealed a 71% slump in net income and a gloomy sales outlook for the Christmas period. It also pushed back the expected launch date of its BlackBerry 10 operating system to late 2012.
Meanwhile, the price of the BlackBerry Playbook tablet was slashed after Christmas, with Carphone Warehouse selling the 16GB model for £169, a discount of £230.
Ovum’s Dillon said: ‘Whether RIM decides to change its management team or not, what is clear is that the company needs to accelerate its pace of change, both in bringing its new BlackBerry 10 platform to market, but also in increasing the attractiveness of its offering through new services such as BBM Music.
‘If the company is unable to speed up its technology and product development it risks being left further behind by its rivals.’