RIM is having a shake up at the top as chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stepped down.
Jim Balsillie have will continue to be on the board as a director and Mike Lazaridis will become vice chairman, Thorston Heins, previously chief operating officer, will now become President and CEO.
Mike 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.’
Heins (right) has been with RIM since 2007 when he joined the company from Siemens: “As with any company that has grown as fast as we have, there have been inevitable growing pains,” he said. “We have learned from those challenges and, I believe, we have and will become a stronger company as a result.’
It’s not really surprising that the dual CEO’s have stepped down, investors have been calling for change for a while as share prices have dropped. Although RIM retains a strong fan base it has lost market share over the last few years to Android and Apple.
2011 was undoubtedly a bad year for RIM. Although the PlayBook is a terrific tablet, it was be sit by criticism for the lack of native email and late last year a service outage hit BlackBerry users throughout the world.
We only hope that it’s not too late for RIM. With it’s QNX and now BlackBerry 10 operating system, the company has a really interesting product, but will it be enough to take on Google and Apple? We'll have to wait and see.