RIM bosses resign: Can Blackberry compete with Apple and Android?

24/01/2012

Research in Motion has seen its two co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis step down, as the Blackberry smartphone maker struggles to compete with Apple and Google’s Anrodi in the smartphone market. RIM has named Thorsten Heins as its new CEO following the management shake-up.

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Balsillie will remain a member of the board, while Lazaridis will serve as Vice Chair of the board's Innovation Committee - offering strategic counsel to help promote the BlackBerry brand.

"There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognize the need to pass the baton to new leadership," co-founder Mike Lazaridis said in a statement. "Jim and I went to the Board and told them that we thought that time was now."

Calls for Balsillie and Lazaridis to step down came following a difficult year at RIM - competition from Apple and Android ate into BlackBerry's market share, and the company reported a slump in profits in its Q3 results.

Investor patience also wore thin following a series of PR fails - most notably the BBM crash in October - and the poorly-selling BlackBerry PlayBook did little to impress shareholders following its launch.

"Thorsten has demonstrated throughout his tenure at RIM that he has the right mix of leadership, relevant industry experience and skills to take the company forward," Lazaridis said.

Prior to being appointed CEO, Heins served as Chief Operating Officer for RIM.

"Going forward, we will continue to focus both on short-term and long-term growth, strategic planning, a customer and market-based product approach, and flawless execution," Heins said.

"We are in the process of recruiting a new Chief Marketing Officer to work closely with our product and sales teams to deliver the most compelling products and services."

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