A logo of the Blackberry maker's Research in Motion is seen on a building at the RIM Technology Park in Waterloo in this April 18, 2012 file photograph.
Credits: REUTERS/Mark Blinch
WATERLOO, ON - RIM CEO Thorsten Heins says he is not satisfied with the company's performance.
The new head of the struggling tech giant told the company's annual meeting Tuesday that the company is going through a transition.
"We are working around the clock to complete the transition process... The past year has been very difficult for RIM," said Heins.
Heins said the company still has a strong subscriber base of 78 million and has good prospects in Asia and Latin America but is struggling in North America and Europe.
"I am not satisfied with the performance of the company in the last year."
Heins said the long-awaited Blackberry 10 will launch next spring but has taken "more time than we have anticipated."
But, Heins said, it will be worth the wait, promising no compromise on its quality.
Heins said the recently announced layoff of 5,000 employees - as well as its cutback in manufacturing sites, from 10 to three - will save $1 billion from its bottom line.
Heins said the layoffs will be done by the end of 2013 and are difficult but crucial to the company's fortunes.
Media and shareholders packed a hall at the Wilfrid Laurier University, a few blocks from the RIM campus, where the meeting was held.
Some of those shareholders were high rollers, such as Vic Alboini of Jaguar Financial who arrived in a limo.
Alboini told the media "now is the time" to look at selling RIM.
He told the annual meeting RIM should be looking for tech experts from Silicon Valley to fill director positions.
The annual general meeting was the first chance for disgruntled shareholders to question RIM's new CEO and other new executives.
The Canadian tech giant's reputation and share price has taken a beating since the last annual general meeting when former CEO and co-founder Jim Balsillie attempted to paint a rosy picture.
The share price has tumbled more than 70% in the past year, down to about $8, including the 19% drop it experienced when the company recently announced a $518 million quarterly loss and its layoff plans - almost a third of its global workforce.
Even more damaging was an admission that launch of the new Blackberry would again be delayed, allowing Apple and other competitors to snatch up more market share. RIM's share of the U.S. market has fallen to 11%.
Since the June 29 announcement, Heins and other RIM executives have been on a media offensive, denying the company was in a transition phase rather than a "death spiral."
Balsillie stepped down earlier this year along with co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, who continues to sit on RIM's board of directors.
WATERLOO, ON -