Over the last 20 years, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have been co-CEOs and co-chairmen at Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM). Now the company has promoted Thorsten Heins from the COO position to the President and CEO of RIM. The management shuffle happened in the midst of pressure from investors, but the company said it was not a reaction to the stock price. RIM’s investors have been disappointed with weakening sales at the company due to increased competition from Google and Apple.
Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis will stay at the company as directors and significant shareholders. Lazaridis co-founded the company using a loan from his parents in 1984 and Balsillie joined him in 1992.
Heins said that the RIM will not be looking to make any drastic changes such as selling off the company. However the company will listen to potential suitors. Heins joined RIM in 2007 as the COO of the company after previously working as the chief technology officer of Siemens AG.
Other changes in the company include Barbara Stymiest becoming an independent board chairman and Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. CEO Prem Watsa being added to RIM’s board.