Research In Motion (RIM) has replaced its co-chief executive officers and co-founders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis after the duo resigned on Saturday, the company has revealed.
According to RIM, Balsillie and Lazaridis will be replaced by Thorsten Heins, who has been with RIM only since he joined the company four years ago in 2007 coming from Siemens AG.
Shareholders have been pressuring RIM to replace Balsillie and Lazaridis who have previously been co-CEOs and co-chairmen of the company for not guiding the company enough to react faster and more appropriately to the challenge posted by Apple and other companies manufacturing smartphones running on the Android mobile operating system.
As Heins is named CEO from his post as a chief operating officer of the company, Director Barbara Stymiest has also been tasked to become the chairperson of the company’s board of directors.
Nonetheless, reports says that Balsillie, Lazaridis and Stymiest have said that the former co-CEOs and co-chairmen’s decision to cede their top positions in RIM were all their own and not a result of shareholder pressure bearing down on them.
Heins, a 54-year-old who hails from Germany and was previously the chief technology officer of Siemens AG, is now tasked to conquer the difficult challenge to drive RIM to become more competitive with Apple and other smartphones manufacturers.