By Telecom Lead Team: Smart phone
major Research In Motion (RIM) has named Thorsten Heins as president and chief
Heins will also be in RIM’s board.
The board acted after conducting its own due diligence. The RIM board accepted
the recommendation of its co-chief executive officers to implement the
succession plan they previously submitted to the Board.
Heins joined RIM from Siemens
Communications Group in December 2007 as senior vice president for Hardware
Engineering and became chief operating officer for Product and Sales in August
Under the guidance of Heins, RIM
will continue to focus both on short-term and long-term growth, strategic
planning, a customer- and market-based product approach, and flawless
execution. RIM is in the process of recruiting a new chief marketing officer to
work closely with our product and sales teams to deliver the most compelling
products and services.
RIM has a strong balance sheet with
approximately $1.5 billion in cash at the end of the last quarter and
negligible debt. RIM reported revenue of $5.2 billion in last quarter, up 24
percent from the prior quarter, and a 35 percent year-to-year increase in the
BlackBerry subscriber base, which is now over 75 million.
Mike Lazaridis, former co-chair and
co-CEO, has become vice chair of RIM’s Board and chair of the Board’s new
Innovation Committee. As vice chair, he will work with Heins to offer strategic
counsel, provide a smooth transition and continue to promote the BlackBerry
“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. 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,” Lazaridis said.
“I agree this is the right time
to pass the baton to new leadership, and I have complete confidence in
Thorsten, the management team and the company. I remain a significant
shareholder and a Director and, of course, they will have my full
support,” said Jim Balsillie, who remains a member of the Board.
Lazaridis decided to move from
co-chair to vice chair of the Board in order to return the public’s focus to
what is most important:
“Mike and Jim took a bold step
18 months ago when RIM purchased QNX to shepherd the transformation of the
BlackBerry platform for the next decade. We are more confident than ever that
was the right path. It is Mike and Jim’s continued unwillingness to sacrifice
long-term value for short-term gain which has made RIM the great company that
it is today. I share that philosophy and am very excited about the company’s
future,” Heins added