RIM Co-Chairs Step Down

Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis are no longer co-CEOs or co-chairmen of BlackBerry , the company announced Sunday night.

The new RIM CEO is their hand-picked successor, Thorsten Heins, who in July had been elevated to the post of chief operating officer of products and sales. (See RIM Cuts 2,000 Jobs.)

The new chairwoman of the board is Barbara Stymiest, who's been on the board since 2007 and was once a group executive at Royal Bank of Canada. All these changes took effect Sunday evening.

Balsillie and Lazaridis remain on the board, and Heins has been added to the board. Lazaridis is now the vice-chair and will head the board's Innovation Committee.

Prem Watsa, CEO of Fairfax Financial, has also been added to the board. His firm has become one of RIM's biggest shareholders, as The Globe and Mail notes. Why this matters
It's the predictable (and some would say long-awaited) end of an era for RIM, the maker of BlackBerry devices. Shareholders had been calling for the co-CEOs' heads, and rumors early this month said the company was finally ready to respond.

Heins is now left with the unenviable task of battling Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) in the smartphone and tablet markets.

For more
RIM hasn't had it easy in recent months. Here's a quick review.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

Slehyip 10/29/2019 | 11:23:44 PM
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digits 12/5/2012 | 5:44:56 PM
re: RIM Co-Chairs Step Down

Is promoting the COO to CEO a dramatic enough move to inspire confidence that things will change?

I think not... RIM needed an outsider to come in and shake things up, bring in new ideas and an external perspective on what was/wasn't working.

vwarker 12/5/2012 | 5:44:55 PM
re: RIM Co-Chairs Step Down

RIM has been in trouble for years and now they have promoted a hand picked internal successor?  I don't think they get it and I don't think this bodes well for the future. Even if he is a very talented and skilled exec it is extrodinarily difficult to make the kind of changes required when you are an insider. RIM was a pioneer and I would like to see them succeed but I think they need an outsider who can recraft their operation and re-envision the future.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:44:55 PM
re: RIM Co-Chairs Step Down

I don't think so. They'll have to make some big moves right off the bat. Looks like RIM is down 1% right after its conference call on the change, so Wall Street's not buying it either.

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