John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

See You in Coach, RIM!

With its shares trading at eight-year lows amid dwindling sales and falling revenue, Research In Motion is getting creative with its cost-cutting measures. Really creative. It’s selling off a corporate jet to raise cash.

The struggling BlackBerry maker has put its nine-passenger Dassault Falcon 50EX up for sale, people familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg. RIM has a second 14-seat jet that it plans to hold onto, but it hopes the sale of the 50EX will fetch between $6 million and $7 million, which will presumably be put toward the $1 billion in operating-costs savings that CEO Thorsten Heins has promised for this year.

“We’re looking at options with both our aircraft costs and finding ways to reduce our travel while still making sure we keep in close contact with our partners around the world,” RIM said in a statement given to Bloomberg. “It’s all part of the effort to find ways to reduce costs and drive efficiencies that Thorsten Heins has talked about.”

Coming as it does after the announcement of RIM’s plan to sack 5,000 employees, or about a third of its workforce, the sale of the jet is both a cost-cutting move and a symbolic gesture. Tough for the rank-and-file to see so many colleagues laid off, when the company’s leadership is jetting around in a leather-interiored jet with gold-plated hardware.

That said, I’m not quite sure if putting more RIM executives on commercial flights is the wisest idea

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald