From the department of The iPhone Killed Everything: As pundits have been prognosticating, RIM’s two co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have stepped down after 20 years. The pair will have seats on the board but will be replaced by the German-accented COO Thorsten Heins, who has been in upper management at RIM for the last four years. “This is so fantastic and phenomenal to become the CEO,” he says in a video unearthed by Business Insider. “Being trusted by Jim, Mike and the board to follow Mike and Jim’s big footsteps.”
Either way, the company’s meandering strategy and unerring faithfulness to putting out slightly different versions of the same product doesn’t seem to be working: RIM’s stock has tanked in the last year. The first phone to get email and the instant messenger of choice among young urban professionals in New York City is lagging behind more app happy devices, and the BlackBerry Playbook has hardly made a dent in the device universe (also known as the “device-o-verse” or “gadgetsphere”).
So what’s Mr. Heins’s game plan for the struggling company? The next generation mobile operating system, he told press, BlackBerry 10. So. Not printers? We’re actually starting to miss printers.
Mr. Heins’s bio:
He previously served as Chief Operating Officer, Product Engineering, overseeing the BlackBerry smartphone portfolio world-wide.
Prior to joining RIM in 2007, Thorsten held several positions in the wireless arena including the Chief Technology Officer of Siemens’ Communications Division and several general management positions in Hardware and Software businesses.
Thorsten holds a master’s degree in Science and Physics from the University of Hannover in Germany. Thorsten also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Inc.