by Mhairi Steele
Blackberry maker Research In Motion’s co- CEO’s have announced they will BOTH be stepping down in an attempt to re-think the companies strategy.
Following growing speculation of a company shake-up, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis are resigning. They will be replaced by former Chief Operating Officer Thorsten Heins.
Heins is a former Siemens executive who joined the company in 2007 and has been coming up through the ranks ever since he started.
The company has been struggling in a difficult market and was in need of a change. Mike Lazaridis, founder of RIM, has 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 [Balsillie] and I went to the Board and told them that we thought that time was now.”
The news comes following a very poor 2011 with massive outages and blunders throughout the year such as announcing the new name for their combined OS, only to learn they didn’t actually own the rights to the name.
Billions of dollars have been wiped from its’ market value and shares have crashed 75% over the past year as the company struggles to compete with Apple, Samsung and Google.
Commenting on the change of the companies leadership, Ed Snyder, Charter Equity analyst, said:
“It’s the first positive thing that they have done in months”
Lazaridis, who founded RIM in 1984 will now become vice chairman while Balsillie will sit on the board but not have an operational role. Hopefully this marks the start of Blackberry’s come-back.
What do you think of the announcement? Too little, too late? Let us know in the comment section below…