Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, the men who made BlackBerry the must-have smartphone for almost a decade, have stepped down as co-chief executives of Research in Motion, after failing to reverse the company’s ongoing decline. The two will quit their positions immediately and assign their duties to Thorsten Heins.
Having made BlackBerry the once indispensable device for everyone from business executives to students who wanted to check their emails, Facebook’s and BBM Gossip has now become a Canadian company that is failing to fight back against competition from Apple and Google.
The departure of the two from the top jobs at RIM comes just a week before the company’s own deadline for releasing the findings of a management review. Despite public criticism from investors including Northwest & Ethical Investments and Jaguar Financial, the pair insisted last night that their decision was not because of that pressure.