Research In Motion has named Thorsten Heins as President and Chief Executive Officer today (Sunday night US time), appointing him to the company’s board. It says it’s acted on the recommendation of its previous co-Chief Executive Officers.
Mike Lazaridis, former co-Chair and co-CEO of RIM, has become Vice Chair of RIM’s Board and Chair of the Board’s new Innovation Committee. Former co-CEO Jim Balsillie will remain a member of the Board.
Mr Lazaridis said “There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognize the need to pass the baton to new leadership. Jim and I went to the Board and told them that we thought that time was now. With BlackBerry 7 now out, PlayBook 2.0 shipping in February and BlackBerry 10 expected to ship later this year, the company is entering a new phase, and we felt it was time for a new leader to take it through that phase and beyond. Jim, the Board and I all agreed that leader should be Thorsten Heins. Thorsten has demonstrated throughout his tenure at RIM that he has the right mix of leadership, relevant industry experience and skills to take the company forward.”
Thorsten Heins joined RIM in December 2007 after more than 20 years at Siemens Communications Group. He was originally appointed as Senior Vice President for Hardware Engineering, becoming Chief Operating Officer for Product and Sales in August 2011.
Barbara Stymiest, who’s been a member of RIM’s Board since 2007, was named the independent Board Chair. Prem Watsa, CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings, is joining the Board, expanding it to 11 members. The company also plans to recruit a new Chief Marketing Officer.