RIM names new CEO as Lazardis, Basillie step down

Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:30pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Research In Motion's co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have bowed to investor pressure and stepped down, handing the job to an insider with four years at the struggling BlackBerry maker.

Thorsten Heins, a former Siemens executive who has risen steadily at the Canadian company to become one of two chief operating officers, took over as CEO on Saturday, RIM said.

Barbara Stymiest, an independent board member who once headed the Toronto Stock Exchange, will take over as chairman, a role that Lazaridis and Balsillie had also shared. Lazaridis and Balsillie will remain board members.

COMMENTARY

SHAW WU, ANALYST AT STERNE AGEE

"It's a start. On the positive side, I think people might be positive on the fact they're actually doing something. But we'll have to wait and see.

"They might need someone with consumer electronics expertise, because they're a consumer company whether they like it or not. It started out as an enterprise business and even for RIM, it's going to be a consumer business.

"That they both remain part of the board might be the right move. I'm not sure people wanted them to be totally uninvolved.

"I'm not sure this is what people really wanted to see - it might have a little too bold. It seems a bit aggressive.   Continued...