Research in Motion co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have resigned from the company following months of investor pressure.
Thorsten Heins will take over as chief executive while board member Barbara Stymiest will replace Lazaridis and Balsillie as the chair. This will be the first-time in RIM’s 38-year history Lazaridis and Balsillie have not co-chaired the board.
Heins entered RIM in 2007 as the senior vice-president for hardware and engineering, before becoming chief for product sales in August.
"There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognise the need to pass the baton to new leadership," said Lazaridis
"RIM is entering a new phase, and we felt it was time for a new leader to take it through that phase and beyond.”
The management changes follow a series of RIM setbacks. These include a delay in the BlackBerry 10 launch and the PlayBook tablet failure.
Lazaridis and Balsillie will still play a role in the company. Balsillie will remain a board member while Lazaridis will be appointed the board’s vice-chairman and will head a new committee providing “strategic counsel” within the company.
Lazaridis remains loyal to RIM, despite his repositioning in the company.
"I am so confident in RIM's future that I intend to purchase an additional US$50 million of the company's shares, as permitted, in the open market," he said.