Struggling BlackBerry-maker RIM has announced that co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsilli have stood down to be replaced by insider Thorsten Heins.
Following several months of investor unrest prompted by a lacklustre product range, sliding market share and eight-year sharepoint low, the Canadian company finally bowed to pressure and announced a change of guard.
"There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognize the need to pass the baton to new leadership," wrote Lazaridis in a release, apparently keen to paint the move as their own idea.
"Jim and I went to the Board and told them that we thought that time was now," Lazaridis wrote.
Some investors have been critical of the choice of Lazaridis and Balsilli’s COO ‘lieutenant’ as their annointed successor, arguing that fresh blood is what the company needs to revive flagging fortunes.
Nevertheless, RIM quickly moved to publicise the management change including posting a YouTube video interview with incoming Heins.
"If we continue doing well, what we’re doing, I see no problems with us being a top three player worldwide."
Heins message is full of the usual upbeat corporate speak and buzz words, although he hinted at better marketing and consumer communication although delivered a mixed message on ‘innovation’, saying there should be more of it, but there should be ‘less’ when products are being developed.
Presumably Mike and Jim know what he means.