With the Research in Motion (RIM) drastic change on early last week announced Thorsten Heins as company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Mike Lazaridis, who worked with the company as co-chief executive officer left the position at the time.
“It was very hard,” Lazaridis said in an interview with The Record this week. The company announced that Lazaridis and co-chief executive Jim Balsillie had stepped down and passed the torch to chief operating officer Thorsten Heins. “Stepping aside, as a founder, after 27 years, I would be lying if I said that wasn’t emotional for me, and for my whole family,” he added.
Asked Lazaridis, if he has any regrets, cited only one, “Working so hard, with a 24-by-7 workload for so long, my biggest regret was not having enough time for my family. I need to correct that over the next few years. My kids have not gone to university yet, and so hopefully, I will correct that before they leave,” said the 50-year-old.
He is buying an additional $50 million in company shares, on top of the shares he already holds. “I am a major shareholder,” he said.
“This company has a strong balance sheet of $1.5 billion. It has strong sales of over $5 billion a quarter. This is a strong organization with a strong global brand, an iconic product and a strong future,” Lazaridis said.
For now, Lazaridis will be an investor in the company, and the head of a newly formed “innovation committee” at RIM. Being the fact that shareholders have been grumbling, Lazaridis claims that the decision to put Heins in charge has been in the works for over four years – calling the alternative of choosing leadership outside of RIM “a guess.”
(Image Source: RIM logo)