On Sunday, the mobile world was rocked by news that embattled smartphone maker RIM is losing two of its top executives.
Research in Motion co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have voluntarily stepped down.
Both men served as co-chief executive officers and co-chairmen of the board. According to details made available late Sunday, the former executives will be replaced by previous Chief Operating Officer Thorsten Heins (new RIM CEO) and Barbara Stymiest (New independent RIM board chair).
“There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognize the need to pass the baton to new leadership. Jim and I went to the Board and told them that we thought that time was now,” Lazaridis said in a statement to the press. “With BlackBerry 7 now out, PlayBook 2.0 shipping in February and BlackBerry 10 expected to ship later this year, the company is entering a new phase, and we felt it was time for a new leader to take it through that phase and beyond. Jim, the Board and I all agreed that leader should be Thorsten Heins.”
Externally, RIM has had no shortage of problems in advancing its products against strong competitors like Apple and Android in the smartphone space. But some have privately voiced their concern that RIM’s top leadership has been perhaps the biggest impediment to the company’s success.
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