Skip to main content

Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis of Research In Motion RIM.

On Jan. 22, 2012 at 10:07 p.m., former RIM co-CEOs sent the following email to their employees.

Today marks the beginning of an exciting new era in the history of RIM. As you have likely seen, only moments ago, RIM announced that we will transition to a new leader, pursuant to the succession plan we had previously given to the Board. Recently, we went to the Board and told them that with BlackBerry 7 now out, PlayBook 2.0 shipping in February and BlackBerry 10 expected to ship later this year, we felt it was time to transition to a new CEO. We told the Board that there comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognize the need to pass the baton to new leadership. For RIM, that time is now and that leader is Thorsten Heins. Based upon our strong recommendation, and following its own due diligence, the Board appointed Thorsten Heins as RIM's President and CEO. Read the full press release.

We remain among RIM's largest shareholders, and believe in the company's future. Almost two years ago, we made the very difficult decision for RIM to go it alone – to not follow the path of our competitors and adopt a third-party operating system. We knew then that the ability to control our destiny and differentiate our own platform, products, services and brand would be vital to our future. With this decision and the transition that followed came great scrutiny. We felt we were right and so we stayed the course. During that time, we launched BlackBerry 7 smartphones into the market with great success. You pulled off the biggest global product launch in our company's history. In a few weeks, PlayBook owners will see their devices come alive with new functionality with the launch of the PlayBook 2.0 free, over-the-air update. Later this year, we launch BlackBerry 10 and the expanded BlackBerry ecosystem. We couldn't be more excited about the work you've done.

With this transition to a single, unified platform, this was the right time to make this change.

Thorsten brings to this office a skill set that is perfectly matched to the opportunities and challenges RIM faces in 2012 and beyond. Many of you already know that he is a physicist; he is a product developer, an outstanding people manager and a leader. As one of the industry's most seasoned telecommunications executives with nearly 30 years of experience, he also has a deep background in sales and marketing and a track record of success in business transformation and managing growth.

Most of all, Thorsten is a passionate believer in what we do at RIM, and brings the rigor and creativity necessary to help all of you do it better and faster. We are very proud of RIM. Together with you, we built this company into a global pioneer that literally changed the way people communicate. Both of us are committed to supporting Thorsten and all of you to ensure RIM's success.

We'd like to invite you to join us for RIM's first ever Global Town Hall meeting that will take place at 10 a.m. EST Monday. Soon, you will receive an invitation to attend the meeting, as well as the details about how to participate through video and audio conference.

We know that many of you will have questions about this. We invite you to submit your questions to us in advance of the meeting by emailing the Office of the CEOs. We will do our best to address some of these during the Town Hall.

Today is an exciting moment in our history and in our future. You built this company with us, and you are instrumental to RIM's future. Please join us in congratulating Thorsten and please make a point of tuning in to the Town Hall meeting. We look forward to all of the Bold moves you'll be making in 2012.

Thank you,

Mike and Jim