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RIM co-CEOs reportedly may be out as board chairmen

January 3, 2012 |  5:40 pm

Mike Lazaridis, Research in Motion's president, co-CEO and co-chairman

Research In Motion may reportedly relieve its co-chief executives, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, of their positions as co-chairmen of the company's board of directors.

The move comes amid shareholder pressure calling for new leadership, according to the Financial Post, a Canadian newspaper.

Jim Balsillie, co-CEO and co-chairman of Research in MotionThe shareholder pressure is due in large part to a rough 2011 for RIM in which the smartphone and tablet maker dealt with declining market share, earnings results below expectations, shrinking stock prices, multiple product delays, employee layoffs, service outages, a $485-million loss on unsold PlayBook tablet inventory and takeover rumors.

Among those under leading consideration to take over as the head of RIM's board is Barbara Stymiest, who joined RIM's board in 2007 and is the chief operating officer of the Royal Bank of Canada's Financial Group, the Financial Post said in its report.

If Lazaridis and Balsillie are removed from their shared chairman posts, the move reportedly wouldn't change their roles as co-CEOs.

Regardless of what happens, it's clear 2012 will be a major year for RIM as it is looks to rebound from 2011 and release its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, which has been under development for months.

BlackBerry 10 will be introduced on a new line of BlackBerry smartphones that will favor touchscreens over full physical keyboards and enable users to run Android apps alongside native QNX and BlackBerry 10 apps, apps developed using Adobe's AIR software and HTML5.

The new operating system, which was supposed to launch in early 2012 but has been delayed to later this year, will also run on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Top photo: Mike Lazaridis, Research in Motion's president, co-CEO and co-chairman. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Bottom photo: Jim Balsillie, co-CEO and co-chairman of Research in Motion. Credit: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

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