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RIM boots both CEOs, as market woes continue

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(Read caption) RIM headquarters in Ontario, Canada.

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Last year was not a very good one for RIM, maker of the BlackBerry smartphone line and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

Sales were down across the board, stock shares plummeted, and the BlackBerry steadily lost market share to Android and Apple. (Not to mention that whole three day outage thing.) Now comes news that Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, the current co-CEOs of RIM will step down, handing over the reins to Thorstein Heins, the current RIM chief operating officer. 

In a joint statement, Jim Balsillie said he would remain a member of the RIM board, while Lazaridis said he would become the board's vice chair. Lazaridis pledged to focus on "the great company we have built, its iconic products, global brand and its talented employees." 

So does Heins have what it takes to reverse the RIM slide? Maybe, Larry Dignan writes over at ZDNet, but it's more likely that Heins ascension will just lead to more of the same. "[T]he removal of Balsillie and Lazaridis looks like a move to appease shareholders for a bit without changing the strategy overall," Dignan notes. Moreover, what RIM needs now is a couple blockbuster products, and it's far from clear that anything close to blockbuster is in the works. 


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