RIM’s co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stepped down

Ian Hardy

January 22, 2012 9:24 pm


Wow, this is unexpected for a Sunday night. Both of RIM’s co-CEOs, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, have announced they will step down. Stepping into the role as President and CEO is Thorseten Heins, who joined the company in 2007 and recently was their COO. Heins stated that “It’s a fantastic growth story and it’s not coming to an end… What you will see with me is rigour and flawless execution”. The company also announced that Barbara Stymiest will become an independent board chairman.

It’s been a whirlwind for RIM over the past year, competition has been intense on the hardware and software front, delayed products, poor sales, frustrated investors and a huge drop in their stock price. Over the past few weeks there have been rumours that RIM was looking to sell the company, specifically to Samsung, but this was quickly denied. Even in a the Wall Street Journal tonight “There is no intent to put the company up for sale”.

On a more interesting note, one of the rumours pointed towards licensing their BlackBerry 10 OS to other manufacturers, Heins stated that they are exploring this route and are looking at possible suitors “on a case-by-case basis”.

It’ll be interesting to see how the market reacts to this news. The current stock price is at $17.00.

Source: Globe

  • Crunch204

    Holy sh#t

    • I forgot my meds

      Get a living, breathing phone. Get a iPhone.

    • A. Carmine

      Ho-Lee-Shat!!!

    • CADDMan

      Their stepping down is a really Bold move that may throw the company’s future Playbook for a Curve. Hopefully them staying on as long as they did amid the changes in the market hasn’t thrown a Torch in the company’s outlook.

    • notmuchchange

      The main problem with RIM is that the guys in the picture are BOTH on the board and CEOs, they are not CEOs anymore, but they chose the current Engineer-CEO AND they remain in the board of directors as VP.
      They just did that because they know that the report coming up next month was going to “suggest” their removal.
      What has changed ???
      With them in the board, the company won’t be divided and sold and it will keep on living on a Barrage of Rumors (when will they end? How many companies are left that will buy RIM next week) and Buzz Words: “Leapfrog the competition” “No stone unturned” “Latter in the year” Stock is 5% up now. I think investors can read though this and the stock will go up 10-15% and back to reality by Monday.
      Next: Kick them out of the board, reduce their influence to 0 and then RIM willl be FREE and then you the stock will jump 20% and then it could REALLY be bought byt Samsung etc etc

  • Nexus S

    WOW totally unexpected…but can RIM really be saved?? probably not…

    • Nick

      Sure it CAN be saved, but only if they do a lot of things right over the next few years. Their claim to fame was security, reliability, and email/business communications. Those advantages will disappear as other platforms improve at those things. They need to catch up on their weaknesses – which is also good news, because these days even an “average” phone can be pretty capable when it comes to browsing and apps so on. They have a lot of people who WANT to use Blackberrys and will come running back if they can get rid of the few obvious ways they’re lagging.

  • Hub

    About time. But is it too little too late?

    • howitzer

      I would wait in a line for an Android Torch 9800 like phone

  • Steelepunk

    About time, maybe to late to save RIM in it’s current form though.

  • John

    FINALLY!

  • StephenBB81

    OMG! Great and Bad news all at the same time!
    I do NOT Believe in Thorseten Heins at all, hopefully his tenure as CEO is short lived as they find new blood

  • gjac0m

    WHOA! I wasn’t expecting this tonight. I think it was about to happen and it’s happening right now.

  • Ex Blackberry guy now IPhone guy

    YAWN! Sell off BBM already

  • Winston

    The timestamp on the Globe article is three hours in the future.

  • Rich

    I don’t care if a moose is the CEO of the company.
    QNX/BB10, let’s see it.

  • sino

    1) WAAAY too late on this article – Globe & Mail had it up a while ago, mobilesyrup drops the ball again

    2) Contrary to most of you guys thing, this is not “holy s**t” noteworthy at all. It’s an inside job, an effectively still control held by the two ex ceo’s through their significant share holdings and positions on the board

    massive fail

    • briggs

      you clearly don’t understand the difference between a shareholder and a CEO. Keep at it though.

  • David

    Hey MobileSyrup… try reading the article the next time. Mike and Jim also gave up their co-chair positions:

    The two former CEOs also relinquished their co-chair positions on the board, with Mr. Lazaridis becoming vice-chair of the board with special duties to examine innovation and Mr. Balsillie becoming an ordinary director.

    But the radical changes at RIM, which also saw director Barbara Stymiest become board chair, may not be enough to stave off shareholder discontent.

  • EmperumanV

    Ah interesting. First this then what next? Stay tuned in the next episode of RIM – A success or failure?

  • Robi

    I am buying RIM shares as we speak! They can only go up after they’ve dropped just now. Cha-ching!

  • P.L.

    I wish RIM the best. I would love to support the company, but that won’t happen until they release something competitive.

  • D

    Finally – what took them so long?

  • InfinitiGuy

    That was unexpected news for a Sunday.

  • Dillion

    As a pillaged shareholder, I am very thankful.

  • ICA

    2012 will be a make-or-break year. And I hope that they MAKE some great products moving forward.

  • Andrew

    Now Jim can focus on getting another NHL team in SW Ontario!!

  • Susan

    I’m shocked to hear this news on a Sunday. I would like to thank Mike and Jim for creating BlackBerry. I will always be a BlackBerry user. I have faith that 2012 will be RIM’s year.

    Yes Jim must fight hard to get another NHL team in SW Ontario. Hamilton is waiting!

  • Last Chance for a Turn Around

    Thin-margin Curve. New Bold Touch for 349$. New Nexus-killer superphone. Status symbol BB. All other phones cancelled NOW. Transition to touch mostly by 2013/First half 2014.
    Android compatibility is critical now. Add proprietary features to keep an edge and buy-in. BBX for consumers doesn’t matter, too late.
    Now, go.

  • JustMeAndMe

    Time to open champagne?
    Or just captains are leaving sinking ship?

    • Vanessa

      I think they tripped and as a result somehow lost their CEO titles in the process…though official reports have not yet been released

  • Clockwork

    As a cdn I hope they can rebound and succeed. You never want to see a cdn company and jobs go away. I hope new management can help them right the ship.

  • PhoneScience

    Here’s hoping that Heins can pull an Elop and bring them back to the front page, for good reasons.

  • David

    If anybody has played Starcraft 2, then you know the tag line for the game “Hell, it’s about time” can be used in this context.

  • A. Carmine

    Wow, people were at the offices on a Sunday? F*uck RIM!

  • Apple4Life

    @A. Carmine

    VIRGIN ALERT!!!

  • Brian

    Too little too late. They haven’t put out a competitive product in four years.

  • Dave

    These two scumbags should have been kick out years ago. Too little too late.

  • g-man

    i guess now there will be no chance of getting an nhl team in hamilton

  • Eric

    has no one noticed Jim is using an Iphone?

    ha

    • Dexter

      Haha I did notice that. Not sure the context of this picture. Maybe he tea bagged it then took it to a genius bar for a prank, but who knows.

    • Thatwouldneverhappen

      That’s clearly a BB bold? As if he would show so little faith in his own company and abandon the projects that he helped design. Think.

    • Jake

      Yeah, it’s definitely a Bold 9000.
      iPhone doesn’t have a button on top like that. Silver thing on the back that looks like the apple logo in this low res picture is the vertically stacked camera lens/flash on the 9000.

      Nice try at trolling though.

  • EmperumanV

    And that ladies and gentlemen is how the cookie will crumble.

  • Nathen

    RIM can not be SAVED.
    Regardless what you tend to believe.

    They had a DOOR open to them called ANDROID a while back ago. They chose to listen to Apple and MS and join there consortium and now the time has passed them by. Even where I work i see former BB users now walk in the office with Androids phones and Iphones.
    Sony’s CEO said it best in his statement ” getting on board the Android platform was the best decision they made ”
    There is a CEO that has vision.