Research In Motion's Joint-CEO's Resign - New CEO Named
Published on: 23rd Jan 2012
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
By: Ian Mansfield
Research In Motion has responded to long running shareholder pressure and announced overnight that the two joint CEOs are to step down from the role with immediate effect.
Mike Lazaridis, former Co-Chair and Co-CEO, has become Vice Chair of RIM's Board and Chair of the Board's new Innovation Committee. Jim Balsillie remains a member of the Board.
The company announced that Thorsten Heins, 54, currently the company's Chief Operating Officer is to take over as both President and CEO.
Mr. Heins said he believes that RIM has tremendous potential. He joined RIM from Siemens Communications Group in December 2007 as Senior Vice President for Hardware Engineering and became Chief Operating Officer for Product and Sales in August 2011.
Mr. Heins said that RIM has a strong foundation on which to build. "We have a strong balance sheet with approximately $1.5 billion in cash at the end of the last quarter and negligible debt. We reported revenue of $5.2 billion in our last quarter, up 24% from the prior quarter, and a 35% year-to-year increase in the BlackBerry subscriber base, which is now over 75 million."
In addition, Barbara Stymiest, who formerly served as a member of Royal Bank of Canada's Group Executive and has been a member of RIM's Board since 2007, has been named the independent Board Chair. John Richardson, formerly Lead Director, will remain on the Board. Prem Watsa, Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Financial Holdings, also was named to the Board, expanding it to 11 members.
Speaking on behalf of the Board, Ms. Stymiest said: "We believe that Thorsten is the right executive to succeed Mike and Jim. He has 27 years of telecommunications experience, including four years at RIM in senior management positions. As a Board, we have been impressed with his outstanding management skills, his leadership and his accomplishments within the company."