Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY): Is Samsung the Next BlackBerry?

Samsung and Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) don’t have a whole lot in common beyond the fact that both companies compete in the cutthroat smartphone market. However, following Samsung’s Galaxy S4 unveiling, the South Korean conglomerate now bears a resemblance to a part of Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s history that it would probably rather forget.


Shortly after the debut, Samsung announced that it’s appointing two new CEOs. That’s right, two. That’s in addition to the existing CEO. Samsung now has a total of three CEOs: Oh-Hyun Kwon, Boo-keun Yoon, and J.K. Shin. Kwon was the existing CEO and will continue to serve as chairman of the board as well.

Yoon has been head of the TV business and is noted as solidifying Samsung’s position in the TV market. Shin has been in charge of Samsung’s mobile business, which is now one of the biggest generators of Samsung’s operating income thanks to the popularity of its Galaxy line of smartphones. Both new co-CEOs will continue leading those respective businesses, but the new structure is intended to “clarify and enhance” management.

Of course, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) had a pair of co-CEOs and co-chairmen for years: Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. This arrangement was widely considered a corporate-governance travesty. Generally speaking, corporate-governance advocates always recommend against having the same executive serve as both chairman and CEO. In its Research In Motion days, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) had two executives filling both roles.

Having two individuals serve in two highly important capacities probably contributed to Research In Motion Ltd’s strategic paralysis in the face of dramatically intensifying competition. Rivals rose to prominence as Research In Motion Ltd. stagnated, and it didn’t help that management lacked clear direction, potentially because Balsillie and Lazaridis had to consult each other on just about everything. It wouldn’t be until January 2012 that the company would name Thorsten Heins as a single new CEO, after years upon years of investor criticism.

This is potentially a risk that Samsung will now face, if having three CEOs leads to indecision in key strategic areas. One big difference is that Samsung is one of the largest electronics conglomerates known to man, with countless operating divisions. An organization of that size may have room for everyone, while Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s singular smartphone business suffered from the co-CEO/co-chairman structure.

Sometimes, three heads may not be better than one.

The article Is Samsung the Next BlackBerry? originally appeared on

Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.