RIM CEO eyes "significant" plans for BlackBerry

Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:39pm EST
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By Sinead Carew and Nicola Leske

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Research in Motion's Thorsten Heins plans to waste no time in his new job. The BlackBerry maker's chief executive said he will present the board with his plan for company's future in just a matter of weeks.

The German-born executive, who took over from two longstanding co-CEOs on Saturday, said his plans for RIM would be "significant" though he did not divulge details in an interview with Reuters.

"I will have time with the board in two weeks to present my ideas and changes," Heins said.

But the executive, who was promoted from the role of chief operating officer, said he has already done groundwork to tackle his company's most pressing problem - persuading the U.S. market to covet the BlackBerry again.

While RIM is growing in other countries, Heins conceded that its U.S. business is in need of a major revival after losing out to rivals like Apple Inc's iPhone at U.S. service providers and corporations, where it once had a clear advantage among employees heavily dependent on its email service.

"In general I wouldn't consider RIM as a turnaround candidate. It is a turnaround candidate in the U.S.," he said. "We lost market share in this market quite substantially. That is something that we have to address."

While U.S. operators such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc have helped BlackBerry with heavy advertising and promotions in the past, these operators have been much more focused in the last few years on devices like iPhone and smartphones based on the Google Inc operating system.

Heins' quest to regain ground with these operators has been complicated by the fact that RIM had to announce in December that it is delaying the launch of phones based on BlackBerry 10 - its next-generation software - until the later part of 2012 as it is awaiting the availability of a high-powered chip.   Continued...

<p>Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins is pictured during an interview with Thomson Reuters in New York, January 27, 2012. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz</p>