BlackBerry Burst: RIM's Co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie Step DownRIM’s co-CEOs, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie—aka the keyboard-loving odd couple—are finally realizing they’re running BlackBerry into the ground and jumping ship before it’s too late. That is, Lazaridis and Balsillie are stepping down at RIM. Done. Gone. Bye bye. The new CEO of RIM will be former COO Thorsten Heins. He has quite the job ahead of him, to say the least.

It’s the worst of times at RIM right now with the Playbook killing their once great BlackBerry brand and market share quickly disappearing as iOS and Android have vaporized any competition. Thorsten, the new guy, still holds out hope for a turnaround though. The Globe and Mail is reporting that Thorsten believes that “everything is in place for the company to grow” and one of his first steps will be to hire a Chief Marketing Officer to fix the dying brand of BlackBerry.

Maybe the new guy will succeed but the truth is, Thorsten has just been given the keys to an old beat up car that’s about to fall off a cliff. Lazaridis and Balsillie have been co-CEOs of RIM for about 20 years and will vacate their co-chair positions on the board with Lazaridis becoming vice-chair and Balsillie becoming an ordinary director. Lazaridis, ever the quotable man, went out sticking to his guns, saying RIM will be successful because of their strategy:

“I think it’s that unwillingness to sacrifice our long-term value for short-term gain. That’s why we didn’t choose Android. That’s why we decided to build the future on QNX.”

[The Globe and Mail]

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