Last night, while some of us were watching the NFL conference championship games came some rather huge news from the world of cell phones. Research In Motion (RIM), creator of the BlackBerry, announced its co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazardis, stepped down from their positions. Balsillie and Lazardis also stepped down from being co-chairman of RIM's Board of Directors, and announced COO Thorsten Heins will be the new CEO. This is a major shake up for RIM and should be a necessary step to return the company to its former glory. Many people had been calling for Balsillie and Lazardis to step down, especially when RIM no longer seemed committed to innovating in the smartphone segment. Apple and Goggle have both completely reshaped what mobile phones can be, and even though RIM purchased QNX in 2010 to improve its BlackBerry software, the implementation has taken far too long.
New RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has a tremendous task in front of him, and must steer the company back into the area it once held sway over. There have been some claims RIM would be acquired by another company, and considering RIM's impressive patent portfolio, could be an attractive option. Whatever happens with RIM, a new CEO is just the first step to turning things around.