RIM founder MIke Lazaridis and fellow co-CEO Jim Balsillie have stepped down from the helm of BlackBerry's parent company as Thorsten Heins takes charge
Following weeks of speculation and continually poor performances from the latest BlackBerry devices Research in Motion’s co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stepped down from the BlackBerry Bold and PlayBook maker.
Struggling to compete with the likes of the Apple iPhone and a flurry of increasingly spec-heavy Android handsets from the likes of HTC and Samsung, BlackBerry has seen handset sales fall dramatically in recent years following almost a decade as the must-have brand for business personnel.
With Lazaridis and Balsillie to make way at the top of the Canadian company immediately the task of halting the business’s rapid decline and bringing some vigour back to the BlackBerry brand falls to the little heard off German executive Thorsten Heins.
“This marks the beginning of a new era for RIM,” Lazaridis said in an interview following the announcement. “It was a bit of bumpy ride. We’ve done it as best we could. Thorsten is the ideal choice. He has the right skills at the right time.”
With shares in RIM falling a staggering 75 per cent during 2011 the company that was once valued at north of $70 billion (£45bn) has stumbled to a current standing price of around $8.9 billion (£5.72bn).
Although Lazaridis and Balsillie have stepped down from their positions as co-CEO neither will full depart RIM. Whilst Lazaridis who founded Research in Motion in 1984 will become the company’s Vice Chairman, Balsillie will remain on the board of directors.
Will a change in management help resurrect the flailing BlackBerry brand or have Apple and Android come on too far for a fight back? Let us know what you think via the comments box below.