CEO

RIM names new CEO as Lazardis, Basillie step down

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 22, 2012 10:08 PM
RIM names new CEO as Lazardis, Basillie step down

(Reuters) - Research In Motion's co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have resigned, 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 RIM since joining the Canadian company in late 2007, 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

EDWARD SNYDER, ANALYST AT CHARTER EQUITY RESEARCH

"It's the first positive thing that they have done in months. It's a step in the right direction.

"With them (Laziridis and Balsillie) still in the game, is their strategy going to continue with the new CEO? Is it a change in direction, or is it a move to the shareholders and investors off their backs? Is it a real change, or is it window-dressing?

"It sounds like it might be a first good step, but ... I have my doubts. My feeling is that it's a figure-head change.

"The stock will probably rally a bit."

MICHAEL URLOCKER, ANALYST AT GMP SECURITIES IN TORONTO

"I am not sure that an engineer as new CEO really gets to the central issues faced by RIM."

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp in Toronto and Edwin Chan in Los Angeles, compiled by Tiffany Wu)