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RIM co-founder loses control in management shakeup

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 23 Jan 2012 12:43 User comments (4)

RIM co-founder loses control in management shakeup In the wake of declining market share and serious criticism about a lack of oversight from the board of directors, Research In Motion (RIM) Co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stepped down.
The pair have also relinquished their co-chairmanship of the BlackBerry maker's board of directors. Many company outsiders, including a growing number of investors, have voiced frustration with the apparent conflict of interest caused by operations and oversight being in the same hands. In Lazaridis' case, this was magnified by his status as co-founder of the company.

Both men will remain on the board of directors, with Lazaridis becoming vice chair and also chairman of RIM's new Innovation Committee. That committee will be tasked with advising new CEO and former Chief Operations Officer Thorsten Heins regarding the company's future direction.

It remains to be seen if the changes are too little, too late to save RIM. With their next generation of BlackBerry devices not scheduled to appear until the second half of this year, the new CEO still has to convince existing customers not to jump ship to Android or iOS.

He will also need to make sure the new operating system, BBOS 10, is worth the wait. Apparently giving credence to the leaked report last year that unfinished software is the root of their product delays, Heins said, "I can't wait to see it."

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4 user comments

123.1.2012 13:05

I think the wirte is right as "too little too late". I feel RIM had a decent product, but the competition was a lot better getting new products out.

223.1.2012 13:09

I've seen this in the past where a guy has 'true vision' or an idea of forward thinking, but a partner or number cruncher just wants to follow a status quo... basically a goon that never figures in human factors or quantum trends in nature that (while you really can't depend on) you have to have a 'gut' feeling for; tend to start fist fights over.

Granted, John Q Public (yes, me) has no real idea what is going on behind closed doors, but it certainly seems as though this is a case of 'those without a clue & in desperation' are grabbing the wheel of the ship from those who actually know what they're doing. Except it's more like, "grandma can most certainly keep the 69 Cadillac. I just don't think she should be driving it anymore!"


323.1.2012 13:16

I just can't help but think now isn't it a good thing Jim didn't buy that NHL team for Hamilton, ON after all. It'd have been pulled from NHL this year if he had.

423.1.2012 14:16

RIM has been doing one thing well since day one - secure, corporate email on a device with a great physical keyboard. Any other functions on a Blackberry seem to be an afterthought. Most of the apps in the BB marketplace are slow and crappy. The hardware has fallen behind the competition in technical innovation. RIM could afford to slowly develop new devices when they were the only real game in town. Now that iOS and Android devices are here RIM can't keep up to the pace that is required in the smartphone industry.

It's a shame really. I've had various Blackberrys provided by my work for over 10 years. I couldn't see myself using anything else for work. At the same time, I bought an Android phone for personal use. I hate the virtual keyboard - but everything else is great.

Watching RIM die is like watching a friend wither with old age and disease. It's slow and painful. I'll miss you when you go RIM.

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