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RIM’s Co-CEO’s Step Down, Thorsten Heins Now President and CEO

Thorsten Heins, RIM President and CEOResearch In Motion’s beleaguered CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis are out -the Board of Directors of BlackBerry maker RIM announced that acting on the recommendation of its Co-Chief Executive Officers to implement the succession plan, it has unanimously named Thorsten Heins as President and Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Heins was also appointed to RIM’s Board. The Board acted after conducting its own due diligence. Both appointments are effective immediately.

Prior to today’s announcement, Mr. Heins was one of RIM’s RIM Logotwo COO and, before that, SVP for the Handheld Business Unit. He played key roles in the creation of RIM’s product portfolio.

Lazaridis will now serve as Vice Chair and lead RIM board’s new Innovation Committee, working closely with Heins. Innovation was something surely missing from the BlackBerry maker under Lazaridis’ co-leadership. Balsillie isn’t completely out, as he will serve on RIM’s board.

“With BlackBerry 7 now out, PlayBook 2.0 shipping in February and BlackBerry 10 expected to ship later this year, the company is entering a new phase, and we felt it was time for a new leader to take it through that phase and beyond”, Lazaridis says. “Jim, the Board and I all agreed that leader should be Thorsten Heins”.

“Mike created a whole new way of communicating and I look forward to continuing our close collaboration”, says Heins.

Heins also expressed resound confidence in RIM’s future, an opinion many outsiders don’t share. “Mike and Jim took a bold step 18 months ago when RIM purchased QNX to shepherd the transformation of the BlackBerry platform for the next decade. We’re more confident than ever that was the right path. It’s Mike and Jim’s continued unwillingness to sacrifice long-term value for short-term gain which has made RIM the great company that it is today. I share that philosophy and am very excited about the company’s future”.

Heins on the story about that for past few yeares, Blackberry is in a death spiral, says the “company is doing everything right and does not need a change in strategy, and must instead focus on harnessing its talent to improve the BlackBerry and revive sales. It’s a fantastic growth story and it’s not coming to an end.”

In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Heins said, “What you’ll see with me is rigour and flawless execution.”

When asked whether he thought the appointment of Ms. Stymiest as chair and himself as CEO would be enough to satisfy investors? Heins retorted, “Change to what? Change for what?” He continued, “I mean, what’s the objective of a change? We’ve made a lot of changes in the past 18 months. Not changes, but also evolution. I changed a lot of my management team, in hardware, software … I’ve trained a lot of other people in the last four years. What do you think I did? … We didn’t stand still in the last 18 months, we did our homework. And I think we will complete our homework soon.”

RIM has scheduled a conference call and live webcast at 8 am ET, January 23, 2012, which can be accessed by dialing 1-800-814-4859 (North America), (+1) 416-644-3414 (outside North America) or through your PC or BlackBerry PlayBook tablet at www.rim.com/investors/events/index.shtml.

Here is the full press release:

You can hear from Thorsten himself in the videos below:

On RIM’s Strengths…

On the next 5 years…

On growth and enthusiasm…

On PlayBook 2.0…

On the best people…

On motivation…

On his proudest moment…

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