Once a company with a net worth of $80 billion, RIM has begun to enact changes to hopefully overcome the obstacles of the changing smartphone device world. For decades, RIM has been the market leader and since the release of Apple and Android products, consumer demands have gradually changed. BlackBerry used to be widely demanded by bankers, lawyers and politicians for their reliability, but since companies have begun to allow use of other products as well as consumers' preferences being different from what they were in the 80's, sales have reached a painful low, resulting in RIM's current worth of $5.17 billion.
Announced today, Co-Chief Executive Officers Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis will be replaced by Thorsten Heins, chief operating officer who joined RIM four years ago. The men will also lose standings as co-chairman, and that seat will be taken by Barbara Stymiest. Both men have said that their stepping down as not because of pressure from the public and other RIM employees, but to do what was best for the future of the company. Lazaridis was quoted in an interview saying,
"This marks the beginning of a new era for RIM ... It was a bit of a bumpy ride. We've done it as best we could. Thorsten is the ideal choice. He has the right skills at the right time."
Both men will continue to have ownership of 5% of the company, as well as working along side the new CEO and Chairwoman.
Hopefully this is the change that RIM and BlackBerry need to get back at the top of this continuously changing consumer market. For now, BlackBerry users and investors will have to wait and see if fresh blood is what the company needed to strengthen, regrow, and become a real competitor for Apple and Android.