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RIM Founder and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis Steps Down

Co-chief executives of Research in Motion, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, have both stepped down as they have failed to reverse the BlackBerry maker's decline in the global smartphone market. Now a lesser known German executive, Thorsten Heins, will be taking this position.

The two former executives worked hard to turn BlackBerry into a quality business class smartphone for corporate staff to stay connected via web and email all throughout the day. The product managed to gain and retain almost an undisputed stature for ten long years. However, in the last five years or so, this company lost its essence, as well as its market position, due to some rather stiff competition coming from rivals Apple and Google.

Due to this, the co-chief executives had to face increasing pressure from the Canadian company's investors over falling share prices. In fact, last year its shares fell by 75 per cent. Lazaridis, stated that, "This marks the beginning of a new era for RIM."

The former executive also added that, "It was a bit of a bumpy ride. We've done it as best we could," reported The Telegraph.

Lazaridis, who founded Research in Motion in the year 1984, now will be the vice chairman of RIM. Basillies, on the other hand, will continue as a board member.

The move of leadership change came just a week before the deadline for unveiling the findings of the management review.