RIM BlackBerry: the two co-CEO’s resign
Put under strong pressure due to disappointing results, RIM’s two co-CEO’s, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have resigned from their roles as director general and president of the board of directors. They will nevertheless remain with the company.
Changes have been requested by Research in Motion shareholders for the last eight months, with these now to take place. The dual roles held by co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, who acted as director general and president of the board of directors, will be abandoned.
With the company’s stock price in free fall due to competition, and with very few positive signs coming through for the company’s future, shareholders will finally get what they have been looking for. The company had been betting big on the BlackBerry 10 platform on which to rebuild the brand, but it has been heavily criticised by certain analysts, making the company’s job of relaunching their image a lot more difficult.
The wide spread outage of their services, which lasted days in October 2011 at the same moment that Apple was launching their iPhone 4S, seriously eroded the company’s image in comparison to the competing iOS and Android platforms which have managed to take the tablet market by storm. At the same time, the PlayBook hasn’t lived up to its anticipated results.
New management at the head of RIM
Over the last few weeks rumours about selling off the company or even separating its activities have been rife with an internal report also evaluating the relevance of a separation of the leaders powers. Placed under increasing pressure by the falling stock price, the two co-CEO’s have finally decided to resign from their roles.
They will be replaced as CEO by Thorsten Heins who has until now been the director of operations, while the president of the board of directors will be taken over by Barbara Stymiest – a transition that has been previously presented. The two men will remain implicated in the company’s decision making, with Mike Lazaridis becoming vice chair of RIM's board and chair of the board's new Innovation Committee. Jim Balsillie remains a member of the board of directors.
This reorganisation is seen as a starting point to the new BlackBerry era, with the release of PlayBook OS 2.0 and the first smartphones running BlackBerry 10 planned for the second half of 2012. It isn’t an easy job though, with the company looking to restore their shine from a few years ago at a time when iOS and Android have taken a solid lead in this key market.
With this redistribution of roles, potential candidates looking at acquiring all or part of the Canadian manufacturers business could once again surface to try and score a deal while Research in Motion remains in a weakened position.
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