(CNN) –The newly appointed CEO of Yahoo is finding out something expectant moms quickly learn – you get a lot of unsolicited advice. All manner of well-meaning people have jumped on twitter and blogs to tell Marissa Mayer how she is going to feel after birth and how much maternity leave she should take. It makes me feel vaguely queasy.
For the record I have two small children. I took three months maternity leave for each and it wasn’t even close to enough. I struggle every day to balance work and children and many days feel I am failing. But that is my experience. It is personal to my life, my kids and my work ethic. I wouldn’t imagine telling anyone else how it is going to be for them or how they should conduct themselves.
This was supposed to be Research In Motion’s come-back moment. Its last chance to show that the newest Blackberry, the 10, was going to be amazing enough to silence all those voices who said Blackberry was dead. It was not that moment.
Instead, Blackberry released quarterly results that confirmed analysts’ worst fears: It is bleeding cash, laying off a third of its workforce and delaying the launch of Blackberry 10 - again.
I don’t know why I am surprised. At every turn, at every opportunity to right itself, Blackberry management has failed miserably, smiling as they dig the grave. It seems incredible that current CEO Thorsten Heins can cling to the idea of launching the Blackberry 10 sometime next year - after the next generation iPhone comes out, after the holiday sales season, in dead of winter when consumers have no money left.
Even more incredible – the Blackberry 10 will not have a physical keyboard – just a touch screen. What? Isn’t the keyboard the reason people love their blackberry?
Talk to an analyst about RIM these days and all they can do is shake their heads. Before this earnings report there was a small glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, Research In Motion could do what Steve Jobs did back in the 1990s and bring the company back from the brink. But Blackberry is no Apple.
When I asked technology analyst Peter Misek, of Jefferies & Co., whether Blackberry put itself on the block as a whole he was pessimistic. “It will be very difficult for anyone to buy them," he said. "A buyer would have to get a handle on the fundamentals and they are deteriorating too rapidly.”
Analysts have slashed their forecasts and at least one is now on record saying RIM will fail and be out of the market by 2020. Others continue to think that the company’s intellectual property and user base have value, but they say management has to get more serious about selling.
It is hard to stay on top in the rapidly evolving tech space, but if companies had tombstones, RIM’s would say, Killed by Management.
New York (CNN) – Don’t look now, but the phone hacking scandal that shuttered the British tabloid “News of the World” and cost James Murdoch his job at BSkyB is about to hit stateside - at least if Mark Lewis has his way.
The UK lawyer who represents alleged victims of phone hacking, including the family of murdered teenager Milly Dowler, is in New York this week meeting with lawyers and exploring legal options against parent company News Corp.
Lewis, who represents three to four people – one believed to be an American citizen and one person from the world of sport – says his clients phones were hacked while they were on U.S soil. The incidents are linked to alleged hacking that took place at the “News of the World,” but when I sat down with Lewis in New York, he was quite clear he believes the problem is much more widespread.
New York (CNN) – When I interviewed Research in Motion founder Mike Lazaridis two years ago at the launch of the Blackberry Torch, he was convinced the product would revive Blackberry’s fortunes because, “People don’t want to carry around two devices, they just want to carry one.”
He was right about that, but wrong about the device people wanted.
Thursday RIM announced a 23% drop in sales in the fourth quarter. A recent Nielsen survey found only 5% of U.S. consumers buying a new smart phone chose a Blackberry. It is a spectacular fall from grace for a company that pioneered push email and made their devices so indispensible they were nicknamed ‘Crackberrys.’
What happened? FULL POST
New York (CNN) – News that James Murdoch was stepping down as executive chairman of News International was met with a collective yawn on Wall Street.
It is not that analysts don’t care about the phone hacking scandal, but in terms of impacting News Corp stock, most believe the probe is a distraction, not a problem that threatens long-term profits.
“I have a buy rating on the stock, it is my top pick in the space,” says Michael Morris, co-director of research at Virginia based Davenport & Company.
“I have been bullish on the banged up media companies, and News Corp’s business is not well understood. The discount it (the stock) is getting because of the Murdoch concerns presents a great investment opportunity,” says Morris, who has covered News Corp for years.
(CNN) – What does the U.S. Fed know that we don’t?
That is the question investors have been asking themselves ever since the central bank unveiled its intention to extend its plan to keep interest rates ultra low through late 2014. Why would they need to do that when the recovery seems to be picking up steam, as witnessed in the latest jobs report?
That is exactly what I put to Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker when I sat down with him in Washington D.C.
“It is not an unconditional pledge. I think that it is clear because everyone recognizes, on the committee and more broadly, if things pick up we can change paths and raise rates before that. Does this mean policy is easier than it otherwise would have been? I am not so sure,” said Lacker.
New York (CNN) – The years of hard work, months of traveling and long nights reviewing game films all come down to this – the Super Bowl. If a player can make the big play at the right time it can not only clinch the championship, but change the course of his career.
That is what Eugene Lee is hoping for. He is the agent representing New England Patriot’s safety Sergio Brown. The Pats signed Brown as an undrafted free agent in 2010. It has been an up and down ride for Notre Dame graduate, but Brown has been on a roll lately. Filling in for an injured player, Brown made a key tackle in the final minutes of the play-off game against Baltimore. He will be starting in the big game Sunday.
Eugene Lee knows a big performance in the Super Bowl could make all the difference in solidifying Brown’s role as a starter and also helping Lee cement his reputation as a top-tier agent.
What better to revolutionize education than a company with a name like Apple? It almost seems destined. In fact, Phil Schiller, its senior VP of worldwide marketing, kicked off the event saying that "education is deep in the company's DNA," and he didn't waste any time showing exactly what he meant.
New York (CNN) – Wished you had paid a little more attention in computer class? Learned to do more than just surf Facebook? You are not alone.
While companies and governments have been shedding jobs and paring back benefits, tech job openings continue to soar. According to Fortune magazine, software developers who specialize in applications will rise by over 30% by 2018. Jobs for computer system analysts will jump 20%.
And the pay is good – average salaries are around $94,000 a year.
New York (CNN) – I have never met anyone who was shot nine times at point blank range.
I wasn't sure what to expect from rapper 50 Cent. I went to interview him about his new energy drink Street King. 50 Cent has linked the product to the United Nations World Food Program, promising to donate one meal for every bottle sold. It is an ambitious goal, but then Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is an ambitious man.
Ambitious and, as I discovered, very nice. Yes, nice. In fact, it was hard to reconcile the scowling ripped rapper whose album “Get Rich Or Die Tryin'” went multi-platinum, with the soft-spoken, suit-wearing CEO sitting in front of me.
About Business 360
CNN International's business anchors and correspondents get to grips with the issues affecting world business, and they want your questions and feedback.