Troubled BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is finally getting a change of guard. Co-CEO and founder Mike Lazaridis and fellow co-CEO Jim Balsillie will be formally stepping down from their positions to pave way for a new CEO. After months of decline in phone sales well as a fast depreciating share price that has shed three-quarters of its value in the last 12 months, RIM have finally decided it’s time to have a shake up of the top management in order to try to reboot the company back to its position of influence. RIM has been losing market share steadily to Google and Apple as more and more people opt to buy Apple products or Android powered devices. This slide in market share has been attributed to RIM’s inability to create cutting edge devices to compete with those being released by competitors.
The new CEO will be Thorsten Heins who is currently RIM’s COO of Product Engineering and who before joining RIM in 2007 was CTO at Siemens Communications Group. The choice does not come as a surprise as the company requires someone with a strong engineering background who can steer the company to innovation and success. Heins is quoted as saying that RIM may have some growing pains but that he felt the company is on solid footing. This is however seen by many as deference to the old guard that is stepping down rather than a critical analysis of the issues at hand. This critical analysis will be called upon from the new CEO as RIM gears to launch Blackberry 10 devices by the end of this year and an immanent BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 update. Heins will also have to contend with the bruising battle raging on in the smart phone market while at the same time trying to create something new that does not smack of “me too”, something most of the latest releases has had.