The pair have also relinquished their co-chairmanship of the BlackBerry maker's board of directors. Many company outsiders, including a growing number of investors, have voiced frustration with the apparent conflict of interest caused by operations and oversight being in the same hands. In Lazaridis' case, this was magnified by his status as co-founder of the company.
Both men will remain on the board of directors, with Lazaridis becoming vice chair and also chairman of RIM's new Innovation Committee. That committee will be tasked with advising new CEO and former Chief Operations Officer Thorsten Heins regarding the company's future direction.
It remains to be seen if the changes are too little, too late to save RIM. With their next generation of BlackBerry devices not scheduled to appear until the second half of this year, the new CEO still has to convince existing customers not to jump ship to Android or iOS.
He will also need to make sure the new operating system, BBOS 10, is worth the wait. Apparently giving credence to the leaked report last year that unfinished software is the root of their product delays, Heins said, "I can't wait to see it."
Written by: Rich Fiscus @ 23 Jan 2012 12:43