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BlackBerry CEO shake-up points to new strategy

Julia Coronado Jan 23, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: The new CEO Thorsten Heins joined Research In Motion just a few years ago. The two CEOs who are on their way out have been at the company for at least 20 years.

We’re going to talk corporate management now with Julia Coronado, chief economist with the investment bank BNP Paribas. She joins us now live as always from New York. Good morning, Julia.

Julia Coronado: Good morning.

Hobson: We’ll first, what is the advantage of a company being run by someone who’s been there just a few years as opposed to one of the founders.

Coronado: When a company runs into stragetic issues like Research In Motion has, the advantage of new blood can be a change in strategy. Something that makes you more competitive. And that’s regardless of whether you’re replacing a founder or just management that wasn’t taking the company in the right direction.

Hobson: Is a founder good in ways that new guy like Thorsten Heins is not?

Coronado: Well, it can be. Certainly the founder can bring passion and vision to a company that is quite unique. And here we think of Apple as the great example of this. And what happens when that passion and vision just rotates into more regular business in a management team; sometimes it’s done very successfully and sometimes it’s not.

Hobson: Julia, one of the things that’s sort of unusual about this Research In Motion situation is that they had two CEOs, co-CEOS. Does that hurt or help in management?

Coronado: Well, I don’t know. Again, there’s no one clear answer. Look at Google. They had co-founders as well and they’ve seemed to have worked that out rather well, so I don’t think there’s one-size-fits-all when it comes to one versus two.

Hobson: Julia Coronado, chief economist with the investment bank BNP Paribas, thanks as always.

Coronado: It’s a pleasure.

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