RIM co-CEOs step down, new leader vows to overturn fortunes

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A shocking development in Research in Motion as co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have step down. They have been replaced by Chief Operating Officer Thorsten Heins, and he promises to silence those who predicted the end of RIM.

News broke via the Wall Street Journal, quoting a company insider. RIM has not made it official, as it was planning to announce their resignations early tomorrow.

Both men remain in the company, with Lazaridis moving to a vice chairmanship and Balsillie becoming an ordinary director of the board.

They were in the top job for nearly two decades, and were successful in running the company until recently. BlackBerry’s market share fell as many turned to the iPhone, Android and other devices – and RIM wasn’t able to succeed in getting them back. The company’s inability to effectively respond to their rivals saw pressure from shareholders and the market to resign from their posts.

In an interview with the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail, Heins remains confident that he can repair the BlackBerry brand. He is now seeking a new chief marketing officer and says that RIM already has the structures in place to succeed again.

“We’ve made a lot of changes in the past 18 months. Not changes, but also evolution. I changed a lot of my management team, in hardware, software … I’ve trained a lot of other people in the last four years,” he told the paper.

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