RIM names Thorsten Heins as new CEO as ex- executives Balsillie, Lazaridis step down
Washington, Jan 23 (ANI): Embattled Research in Motion's co-chief executives and co-chairmen, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, are stepping down from their positions, and will be replaced by chief operating officer Thorsten Heins.
Heins, who joined Blackberry maker RIM five years ago, will replace Lazaridis and Balsillie, who worked with the firm for two decades, as chief executive, in the biggest shakeup in the firm's history.
The sudden move follows a year of decline in which RIM lost three-quarters of its market value, botched the launch of its PlayBook tablet and watched rivals eat into BlackBerry's market share, The Globe and Mail reports.
According to the report, Balsillie and Lazaridis have been grooming Heins as a successor for some time and said they decided to act as the company enters a new phase.
The catalyst for the shakeup appears to have been the entry of a new personality, Prem Watsa, CEO of Fairfax Financial.
Watsa, who has been called Canada's Warren Buffett for his business acumen, has been quietly buying RIM stock for some time.
Fairfax is now one of RIM's largest shareholders, and Watsa is being appointed to the company's board of directors after playing a role in key discussions in recent weeks. (ANI)
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