Well, this is a surprise. It was only July when Jim Jannard, founder of RED, announced that the RED Hydrogen 2 smartphone was on the way, after blaming the original Hydrogen One’s failures on their Chinese device designers. Now, citing age and health issues, Jannard has announced that he’s stepping down from RED and Oakley and retiring. Oh, yes, and he’s cancelled the Hydrogen 2.
Jim released a statement via the RED forums at H4VUser.
I have spent the past 45 years building “inventions wrapped in art”.
Just now turning 70 and having a few health issues, it is now time for me to retire.
I will be shutting down the HYDROGEN project, ending a career that has included Oakley, RED Digital Cinema and HYDROGEN. I am very proud to have worked with many great people over the years who have signed on to the vision.
RED Digital Cinema will continue stronger than ever with Jarred, Tommy and Jamin at the controls. Komodo is about to be launched… and the HYDROGEN One will continue to be supported in the future.
I want to thank everyone for the support I have felt over the years…
– Jim Jannard, RED Founder
It’s a pretty shocking announcement given the recent news of the Hydrogen 2 smartphone and its integration into a new RED Komodo camera. It looks now like it will only be compatible with the original Hydrogen One, for which Jannard says there will be continued support. Although, with the disappointments that came with the Hydrogen One, exactly what “support” means at this point is anybody’s guess. Especially given that the planned modules for the device were removed from the website.
Jannard leaves RED with Jarred Land (RED President), Tommy Rios (RED Executive VP) and Jamin Jannard (RED President of Marketing & Creative).
Jim is one of the greatest visionaries of our time… and he has accomplished more than most leaders do in a lifetime. Over and Over again. He taught me everything I know, and as sad of a day as this initially may be, I am filled with joy that he finally is taking time to enjoy life.
For RED CAMERA owners/users and fans, nothing changes over here. Jim will continue to smack me on the side of the head when I need it, and his ideas and direction will still flow into this company for years to come. We have prepared for this, and we are stronger than ever.
Thanks Jim, for everything.
– Jarred Land, RED President
The Hydrogen One phones have seen a 50% drop in price, which now seems to be explained by this announcement, with the Titanium model priced at $895 and the standard for $645. On paper, it was an awesome looking phone, but in reality, it failed to come even close to expectations.
It’s a shame we won’t see a follow up to the Hydrogen One. It sounded like RED was motivated to drop something insane in the Hydrogen 2 after the original’s failure.