Heins addresses shareholders at annual general meeting


(Contributed photo)

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins tried to keep the optimism high at the Waterloo-based company’s annual general meeting on Tuesday, where the company addressed its shareholders and investors on its future plans.

Despite the release of the Q10 and Z10, as well as the potential release of a cheaper smartphone, the Q5, BlackBerry still received rough results in the first quarter of 2013. Shares fell 26 per cent in the first quarter, with a recorded loss of $84 million.

“What happened in [the first quarter] is also a bit of food for thought for all of us, I think,” Heins said in response to a question from a shareholder. “It is a rocky road, there is no guarantee for success, ladies and gentlemen.  But what I also know is, is that it’s a fantastic opportunity, and it’s on us to shape that opportunity.”

In an auditorium on the University of Waterloo campus, Heins answered many questions from investors and shareholders, some of who inquired the CEO about the company’s marketing initiatives, especially within the United States.

“We know we have to be stronger in the US, and it is a ferocious battleground,” admitted Heins during the question period of his presentation. “But we’re also strong in other regions where we have a strong BlackBerry brand.”

He noted earlier in the question period that he wants the company to “become, again, a global player in the mobile computing industry.”

Heins presented a “transformation” plan to the investors, which had three phases: fix, build and invest, and benefit. In addition, the company’s board of directors officially declared the company to be named “BlackBerry” from its previous name of “Research in Motion”.

He also placed emphasis during the question and answer period on the need for more female workers in the technology industry.

“Our industry needs females in technology otherwise we will get short on resources, intelligence and creativity,” he added.

Heins ended his presentation well aware of the challenges and concerns that face the smartphone operator, but he tried to ensure his company’s shareholders that his management team was well on top of it.

“I’m here to return profits to shareholders, and I’m here, with my team, to create jobs and not to destroy jobs,” he said.



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