WATERLOO,Ontario ( TheStreet) -- Research In Motion (RIMM) said its co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have stepped down and been replaced by Thorsten Heins, the BlackBerry maker's chief operating officer.
"There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognize the need to pass the baton to new leadership. Jim and I went to the board and told them that we thought that time was now," said Lazaridis, in a statement.
Lazaridis has been named vice chairman of RIM's board and chair of the board's new innovation committee. Balsillie remains a board director.Both Lazaridis and Balsillie remain two of the company's largest shareholders. Heins, who joined RIM four years ago from Siemens, takes over for a company which has seen sales plunge and its stock tumble almost 90% from its peak in 2008. The stock closed Friday at $17, down 3.2%. Shares are rising to $17.99 in premarket trading Monday. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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