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RIM CEOs quit as BlackBerry maker struggles

by Steven Williamson on 23 January 2012, 09:39

Tags: RIM (TSE:RIM)

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Following the downturn in fortune for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have stepped down from their roles as co-chief executives of the Canadian firm.

"In every successful company that is developed by founders, there comes a time when it enters a new phase of growth and it's time for the founders to pass the baton to new management," said Lazaridis in a statement to the New York Times.

Though its BlackBerry range of handsets were once considered trendy, the Canadian telecommunications company has failed to compete against Apple and Google’s operating systems and have reportedly lost over $70bn from its value since 2008.


BlackBerry Bold and Curve, the most recent additions to the BlackBerry line

The two men, who have stood at the helm of BlackBerry for 20 years, will immediately relinquish their roles at the company with Mr Lazaridis becoming Vice Chairman and Mr Basillie remaining on the board. Former Siemens executive Thorsten Heins will take control at the top.

Poor sales of the BlackBerry PlayBook, and the widely-reported global service outage, have done little to help the company’s image in recent months, which has resulted in growing pressure from shareholders for its bosses to step down. NPD Group claims that BlackBerrys made up just 11 percent of the US smartphone market in 2011.

On the transition to CEO by Mr. Heins, Mr. Lazaridis said, "There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognize the need to pass the baton to new leadership. Jim and I went to the Board and told them that we thought that time was now. With BlackBerry 7 now out, PlayBook 2.0 shipping in February and BlackBerry 10 expected to ship later this year, the company is entering a new phase, and we felt it was time for a new leader to take it through that phase and beyond. Jim, the Board and I all agreed that leader should be Thorsten Heins."

RIM has also been the subject of takeover speculation in recent months with Amazon, Microsoft and Nokia all said to be discussing a potential bid. In 2012, RIM plans to release the PlayBook 2.0 and a new smartphone based on the new Blackberry 10 operating system.


HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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Does that mean there is a new head rim job available?
Hmm, not sure whether to see this as the CEO's taking responsibility for poor performance; getting out of the way to facilitate a takeover; or rats trying to distance themselves from a sinking ship…

Funnily enough a teenage relative of mine's looking for a new phone. Since they do a LOT of texting I suggested a ‘berry and was strongly rebuffed - relative saying that they’d heard that (a) BB's aren't the most reliable; and (b) they all suffer from WindowsXP syndrome - getting slower and slower as your time with the unit goes on (garbage collection amiss?). Anyone know if this is true, or just urban legend spread by the folks with iPhone's and Android? :secret:
TheAnimus
Does that mean there is a new head rim job available?
Coffee spray time!
crossy
Funnily enough a teenage relative of mine's looking for a new phone. Since they do a LOT of texting I suggested a ‘berry and was strongly rebuffed - relative saying that they’d heard that (a) BB's aren't the most reliable; and (b) they all suffer from WindowsXP syndrome - getting slower and slower as your time with the unit goes on (garbage collection amiss?). Anyone know if this is true, or just urban legend spread by the folks with iPhone's and Android? :secret:
I hope its not true because mine (workphone not personal phone) has been slow from the moment i took it out of the package, if it gets any slower i might go mental.
Blackberry was screwed the moment they capitulated to Indian demands to install a back door into their messaging systems, secure communications was one of its key features, and they just screwed that up.
BBs are dead, they only really hold on to corporate space - not for long though! BES is awful and should be burred together with RIM and BBs =]