RIM faces angry shareholders at tense meeting

BLACKBERRY maker Research in Motion (RIM) executives were grilled by angry shareholders yesterday at the troubled firm’s annual meeting.

Chief executive Thorsten Heins and the Canadian firm’s board were quizzed about the delayed arrival of the next generation of BlackBerry smartphones, while the competency of Heins and the board was called into question.

One shareholder asked how RIM had “let things get out of hand so badly” and called for members of the board to quit, while another told Heins: “You didn’t have the experience that we really needed.”

Executives were told: “What this company needs is an upheaval,” a statement met with applause.

Heins, who joined the struggling firm from Siemens in January, has laid out an aggressive cost-saving plan, including cutting 5,000 jobs and closing factories.

The company has also resorted to selling one of its private jets as its market share is squeezed by the popularity of Apple’s iPhone and devices running Google’s Android software.

RIM – which has seen first-quarter losses of $518m (£334.3m) – fell almost five per cent in trading yesterday.

Its share price has dropped by 75 per cent in a year.