I shall start by wishing Thorsten Heins a happy birthday. For those of you reading who are unsure as to whether Heins is the right man to bring BlackBerry back from the edge upon which it is so precariously perched, be enlightened by the fact that these waters are not new to Mr. Heins. Thor as I like to call him has been at BlackBerry since the launch of the Apples iPhone in 2007. Prior to RIM he worked for a length of time at Siemens AG where we served as a senior executive, leaving the German conglomerate whilst being their CTO (Chief Technology Officer).I’ll quote an amazing Globe and Mail article for the rest of Heins background. Realize that RIM is in great and capable hands.
Lothar Pauly, who rose to become CEO of Siemens Communications in 2005, worked with Mr. Heins for about a decade, later providing Mr. Lazaridis and Mr. Balsillie a reference. Mr. Pauly said Mr. Heins gave Siemens’ optical networking group three directives: Take the lead back in innovation, become profitable again and reclaim market share. That involved “cutting heads,” as Mr. Pauly puts it. Not only was Mr. Heins’ strategy successful, it was valuable training for a similarly dire situation at RIM.”
And another great summary from Seeking Alpha:
Heins earned himself a reputation as a leader who could get things done after he successfully turned around Siemens’s struggling optics division in 2002. Shortly after, the unit went on to become the most profitable division of Siemens as they “couldn’t build enough of the product”. Fortunately for RIM, those skills were a perfect fit as he inherited a company long on innovation but desperately short on execution.
For more information of Thorsten Heins you can read ‘Lunch with RIM CEO’