BlackBerry brainstorms boardroom blitz after abysmal 2011

BlackBerry bosses are reportedly considering ousting chairmen Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to reverse a disastrous year for RIM.

BlackBerry bosses are reportedly considering a game of musical chairmen to reverse a disastrous year for the Canadian smart phones.

The board of BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion is rethinking the company's leadership after a terrible 2011 of failed tablets, BBM outages and poor performance, Canada's Financial Post reports.

The board is reportedly considering jettisoning chairmen Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie and replacing them with independent director Barbara Stymiest. We imagine that'll involve pushing a button so the two failed board members chairs' self-destruct, SPECTRE-style.

Outspoken BlackBerryBoss Mike Lazaridis hit the headlines early last year when he walked out of a BBC interview over questions about security in the Middle East and India .

It's clear something has to change at RIM, after a shocker of a year. The mere talk of a RIM regime change has boosted the share price today, and things can only get better after a string of disasters during 2011.

The BlackBerry PlayBook was a disappointment -- but then so have been most tablets that aren't iPads, in sales at least -- and the prices have been slashed in the new year. Then there was the spectacular week-long BlackBerry outage in October.

As if that wasn't enough, RIM was embarrassed by a forced name change for its great white hope, the QNX-based next generation of BlackBerry software originally called BBX , now rechristened BlackBerry 10 . And all this against a background of general disappointing sales and delays for new phones.

Whether a new head wearing the crown will turn things around in 2012 remains to be seen: a couple of cracking new BlackBerry 10 phones would be a grand start. That said, we're not naive enough to imagine it's just about the products -- customer perception is also important, and BlackBerry needs to address the problem that the iPhone and Android smart phones are sexier, and also increasingly viewed as efficacious and secure for business use.

RIM could also make more of an effort to cater to its massive audience of younger users who are hooked on BlackBerry Messenger. The innovative social music service BlackBerry Music -- in which more mates means more music -- should appeal to the kids, and the next move should be to make the phones themselves less, well, dorky.

Could this be the start of a RIM resurgence? What does BlackBerry need to do to have a better 2012? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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