RIM co-chiefs step down
23 January 2012
Research in Motion’s (RIM) Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stepped down as co-chief executives and co-chairmen of the board.
Lazaridis, who co-founded RIM in 1984, will become vice-chairman of the board and Balsillie will remain on the board as a director, but without any operational role.
“There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognise the need to pass the baton to new leadership,” said Lazaridis at a press conference at RIM’s headquarters in Canada. “Jim and I went to the board and told them that we thought that time was now.”
RIM’s chief operating officer Thorsten Heins will replace Lazaridis and Balsillie as CEO, effective today. Former COO of the Royal Bank of Canada and member of the RIM board Barbara Stymiest will become chairwoman of the company.
Heins joined RIM in 2007 from Siemens Communications in Germany. In his new role, Heins has pledged to follow the strategy set in place by Lazaridis and Balsillie.
“As with any company that has grown as fast as we have, there have been inevitable growing pains,” says Heins. “We have learned from those challenges and, I believe, we have and will become a stronger company as a result.”
The Blackberry-maker, which once dominated the smartphone market, has suffered major setbacks in recent months and has steadily been losing market share to the iPhone and Android devices.
Jenni Baker, London