RIM's appointment of Thorsten Heins to CEO is viewed as questionable by investors and analysts. Here are three other bad tech CEO choices throughout the years.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Research In Motion(:RIMM) have dropped nearly 75% in the last year as consumers have ditched their BlackBerrys in droves for phones from rivals Apple(:AAPL) and Google(:GOOG). But it's business as usual for the new RIM CEO.
Thorsten Heins, a former RIM chief operating officer who on Sunday replaced co-executives Jim Basillie and Mike Laziridis, said drastic change wasn't needed at the company, despite its significant strategic issues.
Investors had been looking for a big management shakeup at RIM rather than the appointment of an industry insider who some analysts fear won't make the necessary changes the company sorely needs.
"Whilst a change of leadership was clearly required, we believe this new appointment will not be a catalyst for a change of strategic direction, given Heins' close association with the prior regime and his initial comments regarding his priorities," Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell wrote in a recent note to clients.
Heins also lacks CEO experience, as well as any type of background in leading a turnaround effort.
Heins isn't the only questionable CEO choice that tech giants have made over the years. Here are three bad tech CEO choices from the past. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments section.
Former HP(:HPQ) CEO Leo Apotheker
Former SAP exec Apotheker was brought to HP in November 2010 to replace Mark Hurd, who was ousted by the board after an alleged sexual harassment scandal.
From the get-go, Apotheker was viewed by many as an odd choice to lead the predominately hardware-focused HP, since the majority of his experience was in software.
As it turns out, Apotheker's laser focus on reshaping HP around software ended up confusing customers and shareholders.
Under Apotheker's tenure, HP cut its sales forecasts three times and its stock plunged over 40%. He announced the $10.3 billion purchase of search software business Autonomy -- viewed as overly risky and expensive by some -- and said the company was killing off its WebOS platform just months after promising to install the operating system across tablets and smartphones. Lastly, Apotheker said HP was considering spinning off its PC business.
Apotheker was eventually fired and replaced by Meg Whitman, the former eBay(:EBAY) exec.
Former Yahoo!(:HPQ) CEO Carol Bartz
Former Autodesk exec Bartz joined Yahoo! in 2009 to replace co-founder Jerry Yang and turn around the struggling Internet company.
Two years into Bartz's tenure, not much had changed. Although the U.S. online ad market continued to grow, Yahoo!'s ad revenue remained largely flat. Competitors like Google and Facebook, meanwhile, strengthened their online ad sales.
Unable to boost Yahoo! sales, Bartz focused her attention on layoffs and shutting down underperforming businesses like bookmarking site Delicious and search site AltaVista.
Last September, Bartz was fired from Yahoo!, reportedly over the phone. She was replaced by PayPal exec Scott Thompson earlier this month.
Former Apple(:AAPL) CEO John Sculley
John Sculley, a former PepsiCo(:PEP) exec joined Apple in 1983. After disagreements with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Sculley forced Jobs out of the company two years later.
He then proceeded to make a series of missteps that nearly led Apple into bankruptcy. Rather than focusing on Apple's core products, Sculley was more interested in expensive and risky projects that ended up failing, such as the Newton, a PDA with notoriously bugging handwriting recognition software.
Sculley also upped the price of the Macintosh while the prices of computers industry-wide were falling, which Jobs later blamed as the main reason that Microsoft(:MSFT) came to dominate the personal computing market.
In 1993, Sculley was pushed out of Apple as the company's stock continued to slide.
--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.
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