Thorsten Heins, the newly-appointed CEO of RIM.

RIM, which has struggled to keep its BlackBerry line of smartphones relevant amid increasing competition from the iPhone and Android, today replaced co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis with a little-known executive by the name of Thorsten Heins. (Full release here).

Who is Thorsten Heins? Well, as part of the introductory process, the company posted a YouTube video (see below) for folks to get to know him a bit better. The PR strategy is taking a bit of a beating in the tech press and on Twitter, largely due to Heins’ subdued conversational style.

“This guy doesn’t exactly make you want to run through a wall to smash the competition,” writes Jay Yarrow of Business Insider. Journalist Glenn Fleishman was a bit more harsh, saying in a Tweet that the video “couldn’t be any more jaw-dropping than if it were a FunnyOrDie parody.”

Here are just a few of the one liners from the video:

“If we continue doing well what we are doing, I see no problems of us being in the top three players worldwide in the next years in wireless.”

“At the very core of RIM, at its DNA is how I’d describe it, is the innovation. I mean we always think ahead. We always think forward. We sometimes think the unthinkable, and that is fantastic. This is the core of any high technology company. We’ve learned to execute, yes, we have to get better at execution, but we’ve learned a lot going from when I joined RIM in 2007. So, never lose this innovation spirit.”

“We are a great innovative company, but sometimes we innovate too much while we are building a product.” 

Previously on GeekWire: Who could buy RIM? A laundry list of potential suitors

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  • Glenn Fleishman

    It is just astonishing. It is a company that through a lack of urgency and technical execution has given up massive marketshare and may be a year out from having its next-generation operating system ready. After the complete market failure of its tablets, with a massive write-down on current inventory, one would think that a new CEO would acknowledge challenges, such as cash flow, carrier dissatisfaction, employee morale, and the lengthy wait for BBX. Nobody inside or outside RIM could take seriously the statements made in the video, but the fact that the CEO made such tone-deaf pronouncements shows that he’s going to run the company into the ground as surely as his two simultaneous predecessors were already doing.

  • Guest

    “We are a great innovative company, but sometimes we innovate too much while we are building a product.”I’ve led many a client through a mobile phone shop to explore the various smartphones before we buy one. At no point has the client complained that BlackBerry is “too innovative.”

  • Andrew Collins

    Blackberry is still a powerful brand. Over the past two years I have watched my peers begrudgingly leave their Blackberry for iPhones. Hardly ever Android. They loved their Blackberries so much there was almost always a proclamation on Facebook or Twitter about how they have decided to move from Blackberry to iPhone. It was their technological eulogy to a trustworthy device that connected them to both their work and personal lives.  I have never seen technology users mourn like Blackberry users.

    It’s easier said than done but if RIM can make a superior phone again former users will come back. They have broken up with a great love and are dating iPhone now but will take Blackberry back if Blackberry can get it’s life together.

    (Disclosure: I use an Android HTC device and will do so until quad core phones release.)

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