The Financial Times adds that the removal of Mr. Lazaridis and Mr. Balsillie were overdue and necessary.
RIM presented the changes as an orderly succession initiated by the two former chief executives. “There comes a time in the growth of every successful firm that the founders realise that it’s time to pass the baton,” Mr Lazaridis told the Financial Times.
However, RIM shares have lost more than three-quarters of their value in less than two years as the company has struggled to respond to mounting competition, especially from Apple’s iPhone and Android-based devices.
Shareholders have become increasingly restive over the BlackBerry’s sliding market share in North America, and by delays in the roll-out of new devices and a fresh operating system. Some dissident shareholders have pressed for management to be replaced.
The problems have fuelled speculation that RIM could become a takeover target. Nokia, Microsoft, Amazon and, most recently, Samsung, have been mentioned as possible suitors.