Research in Motion's new CEO Thorsten Heins doesn't look like the kind of guy who would help the BlackBerry maker lift itself out of years long decline after smarter, cooler phones moved into the market. Hoping to fix RIM's steady, painful degeneration, the company removed Co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie and appointed Heins. In an industry that is a lot about social status -- the hip kids "discovered" the iPhone -- Heins, who as Chief Operating Officer, Product Engineering oversaw product development of all those staid, unsuccessful phones and tablets isn't the guy to do it.
Before joining BlackBerry in December 2007, just after Apple released its first iPhone, Heins worked at German engineering group Siemens AG since his 1984 graduation from University of Hannover with a degree in Science and Physics. (Surprise, he's a lab nerd!) Outside of work, we hear he loves hiking, charity cycling and watching his favorite basketball team the Miami Heat. Very healthy, philanthropic; not cool, per se. Though, as a BMW motorcycle enthusiast, Heins must have some sense of adventure buried in him. And, we know he's been to at least one celebrity-stocked company function, as evidenced on the right. There he and his daughter Svenja Heins posed with a jaundiced Ryan Reynolds. Perhaps Heins will channel this unexpected side of his personality at the helm of RIM?
Unfortunately, at first glimpse of Heins that we get as CEO in this seven minutes long YouTube video, we get the charity cyclist, not the motor-biker. In a far too long video, we get seven minutes of monotone babbling. Heins even struggles to smile even when he says he is "excited."
Beyond his total lack of charisma, he doesn't report anything too exciting. A few samplings:
- "We have taken this to totally new heights and that journey isn't over yet."
- "They need to see the future, they need to see that BlackBerry clearly makes a difference."
- "At the very core of RIM is the innovation. We always think ahead. We always think forward. We sometimes think the unthinkable. And that is fantastic."
Lots of corporate cliche speak, not to mention, lies.