Monthly Archive: May 2010

Listen up!

The Globe and Mail is running audio and print excerpts from the five books nominated for the National Business Book Award. My book about Manulife, published last year, is among them. If you want to hear my dulcet tones, here’s the link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/rod-mcqueen-how-dominic-dalessandro-built-a-global-giant-and-fought-to-save-it/article1585077/

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Roving Borders

On a visit to Michigan during this Memorial Day weekend in the U.S., I visited Borders on Woodward Avenue in Birmingham. I know, I know, I recently said I would not be going into bookstores to check on stock, but hey, this is the first book I’ve ever written that’s been available in the U.S. Indeed, they had copies of my latest book, BlackBerry. I spoke to a clerk and offered to autograph stock. She produced a Sharpie for me to use but, before I began, I asked:  “Don’t you want to check the author photo to make sure I...

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In conversation

An interview by Allan Gregg about my new book, BlackBerry, runs on TvOntario a week from today, Friday June 4, at 10 p.m. Gregg always does a great job because he not only reads the book but also thinks about his questions in advance. Moreover, he’s one of the few members of the media who does a 30-minute interview, thus offering an author the opportunity to talk about some of the themes in the book rather than be limited to two or three brief answers and one anecdote. There’s a preview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzPjPWFIs1E

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A Royal visit

In the olden days, when their majesties came to call, households spent months in preparation for the royal visit. Fatted calves were killed and entire wings of the mansion were revamped. In some instances, spa towns such as Royal Tunbridge Wells were renamed in their honor. Well, get ready Royal Waterloo. On July 5, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will be touring the production facilities at Research In Motion as part of their nine-day visit to Canada. The modern manufacturing site features “pick-and-place” robotics machines worth $750,000 apiece for the initial assembly but every BlackBerry is finished by hand in...

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BlackPad Bunkum

There’s been a lot of blather of late among bloggers who claim that Research In Motion is working on a tablet to compete with the iPad. The source is said to be an insider; the code name for the device is Cobalt. I think this is all just so much bunkum. But first, two caveats. One, I haven’t interviewed anyone at RIM for six months since my book was finalized. Two, they never revealed anything to me about any new device until the official release. Still, I have a sense of the place in general and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis in...

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Manulife shortlisted

I’m proud to announce that “Manulife: How Dominic D’Alessandro Built a Global Giant and Fought to Save It” has been shortlisted for the National Business Book Award. I’ve already won an NBBA in 1997 for “Who Killed Confederation Life?” so won’t win for Manulife because no author has ever won twice in the award’s 25-year history. I am, however, in excellent company with the other nominees of books published in 2009: journalist John DeMont on coal, economist Wendy Dobson on the Asian economy, the memoirs of Buzz Hargrove and former CIBC economist Jeff Rubin on oil. The award, which comes...

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The MENS Club

In one of the many courageous moves by RIM on the road to success, in 1994 Mike Lazaridis called together all 20 employees – yes, that’s right, just 20 employees – to announce the company was going to focus on the wireless business. That meant giving up lucrative software contract work and other sure revenue-generators for a wireless world of risk. Lazaridis told the employees he was aiming high: the top five. “We called it the MENS Club – Motorola, Ericsson, Nokia and Siemens,” said Lazaridis. Along the way Samsung replaced Siemens, but the letters remained the same. “Our goal...

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