24 Jan 2012

Blackberry bosses step down

8:39 am on 24 January 2012

Research in Motion, the Canadian company that makes the Blackberry smartphone, has announced changes at the top.

Co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie are stepping down

after calls from investors for a change in strategy.

The BBC reports chief operating officer Thorsten Heins will replace them on Monday.

Mr Heins started at RIM in 2007, having previously worked at Siemens Communications. He became the chief operating officer in August 2011.

Barbara Stymiest, who has been on the board of RIM since 2007, has been made the new chairman, a post that Mr Balsillie and Mr Lazaridis also shared.

Mr Lazaridis founded the company in 1984. Mr Balsillie will continue to sit on the board, but will not have any operational role.

RIM once dominated the smartphone market, but its shares have fallen 75% over the past 11 months and sales have dropped.