Mike Lazaridis Exit Interview Provides Some Insight

Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie Years Ago

Its the only interview I have seen Mike Lazaridis give since he announced stepping down from the co-CEO position and the contents are pretty interesting. He spoke to The Record about his history at RIM but the most interesting thing I found was that Mike said he was planning on stepping down for years. They have been grooming Thorsten Heins for this since he joined RIM. They new Thorston “was a star” but and in the past three years he has proven himself.

Its a very interesting read that gives us some great insight into Mike and his desire to refocus on his family life. Check out the full interview at The Record. We wish you the best of luck Mike!

17 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Pretty impressive considering he is 50 and has 27 years in…from to starting the company and where it is now. Certainly, best of luck to him.

  2. I hope he goes back to nerding it up a little bit

  3. Let me see if I have this right…
    They “knew” he was a “star”, and they’ve been grooming him for “years” to take over? Meanwhile, in the REAL world during those years RIM has failed miserably, and any honest assessment of their position in USA would have to recognize they have gone from being the top dog to being now an almost irrelevant 4th mobile platform in a world that likely won’t tolerate more than two or three major platforms. Sad to say, as big of a BlackBerry fan as I have been, but its really hard to see ANY possibility for RIM to turn it around enough to put the coming MS/Nokia juggernaut down, let alone challenge Apple or Google for one of the top spots. The time for action was 3 or 4 years ago, but RIM CEO’s totally missed seeing they needed to fundamentally change their core business philosophy THEN. It’s WAY too late now…

    • lol David B is back!

      you lost me at MS/Nokia juggernaut though seriously.

      Blackberry World is May 1-3….. and god willing Heins will stand there with BB10 device in his hand

      Are you seriously telling me Nokia/Windows will somehow destroy the market and take over 3rd spot in the US in the next 3 months?

      • Don’t get lost. WP will easily surpass iOS and I think handily beat android within a few years. Basically I see this. Walk into an office and have ytour windows phone automatically sync with your win8 computer, no need to even think about it.

        • Windows 8 is a great “concept”

          Windows 8, even if it is all Microsoft says it is, will take years to gain traction

          Windows 7.5 is a great mobile platform that has gained ZERO traction.

          3-5 years for Windows

          In that time everything can change

          • They will ship 350 million copies in the first year. In one year more people will have windows 8 than Mac OSX, iOS and Android Combined.

            • Windows 7 did what? 250 million in first year…

              You expect Windows 8 to do 100 million more?

              Windows 7 did so well becausae alot of people skipped Vista

              Vista sold only 180 million licences in the first 18 months

              To suggest Windows 8 will do better than Windows 7 is a tall order… and to suggest 100 million more is very very very very very bold

              I think eventually Windows 8 will be adopted.. but it will take 3-5 years

      • Brian,
        I think perhaps you need to read around a bit. The BlackBerry roadmap for devices for the next YEAR has leaked out last week. Nobody will be standing on a stage with a BlackBerry 10 device for MANY MANY more months, in a BEST case scenario the FIRST BlackBerry 10 phone might hit the streets just before Christmas 2012. How many MIILIONS and MILLIONS more iPhones and Android will have shipped by then? This isn’t about the next 3 months, if you think Thorsten is somehow going to magically make devices appear in 3 months and get into users hands shortly after that, you are living the dream world normally assocatied with Apple fanboies…

        The point is, there’s not room in the North America mobile phone market for 4 top mobile operating system platforms. It’s a reach to think there’s really even room for 3. Clearly Apple and Google have the top two spots sewn up for the forseeable future, thus it becomes a battle for 3rd place. Hence my comment regarding “MS/Nokia juggernaut”. By the time BlackBerry 10 even LAUNCHES, let alone gets multiple devices in the hands of North America carriers, there will be DOZENS of WP devices at the carriers, and not just from Nokia but Samsung, HTC, and so on. To sell mobile phones in North America, the carriers have to be willing to commit to your platform, and developers have to want to design apps for your platform, and neither are happening for BlackBerry in the ways there are happening for WP. THAT is why I believe BlackBerry will be relegated to a distant 4th place in the North America market.

        • David,

          They have BB10 phones operational already and have been shown off privately

          I think you need to read around a bit.

          Also, please adjust your wording to America. Canada is Blackberry.

          Didn’t you need the new report about the UK? Blackberry still largest shareholder

          America is a fickle teenager and can be turned

          I think with an effective OS 7 marketing campaign, Blackberry can maintain their share or only slightly decrease their share until BB10 comes out

          You are making many leaps without any evidence per se to support.

          There is evidence Americans buy Blackberries…even with no advertising.

          It is reasonable to assume at least the same amount will continue to buy given a solid marketing campaign.

          Microsoft has an even harder task

        • not saying you 100% won’t be proven right though

          I am just saying a lot has to go right with Windows and a lot has to go wrong with Blackberry

          lol I can give you that its entirely possible for a lot to go bad with Blackberry, but, I will not give you that a lot will go rigth with Windows

    • Once Heins stands there with a BB10 device in hand.. the game changes

      No one is saying its a lock, but, with proper advertising and an undeniably solid product…. Americans will come back to Blackberry

      Throw in a good incentives

      Its not a lock by any stretch, but, a comeback is entirely conceivable

      • If RIM didn’t have government and business market in the US they would be done. Having that they do have a chance, but I agree with Dave B, for Mike L to pretend this was the plan all along is not only hopefully not true, but second it’s like the grim reaper putting a friendly hand on your shoulder.

        I disagree that it is too late now for because of the base I mention above and also because Google failed to lock up Android. Making it open source was a MAJOR strategic error. The only thing adroid has going for it is Apps and both WP and BB10 will use those apps.

        This makes “re-entry” easier than people think.

  4. Nokia Lumia windows phone is already out in the US and it’s not selling like “the next big thing”. Perhaps it’s a good phone, it def would be my 2nd choice if I move away from Rim… if it’s to take over some customers from Google we would hear more about it. What will make that phone unique is if Microsoft finds a way to link it to a person’s Xbox console just like Sony does with their Xperia Arc. Those are unique features just like Rim has its own servers.

    However a succession plan to a company that you built into an internationally profitable company doesn’t happen overnight. So DavidB, I think you’re a little naive to think a proper succession plan of a huge international company can be done overnight. That only happens in hollywood movies, if that.

    One cannot simply bring in a brand new CEO that’s untried and doesn’t understand the core strengths of the company, look what happened when they got rid of Steve Jobs…

    Really NA is still only less then half the world’s population, so why think if you’re successful here you would be successful everywhere, especially when many countries don’t have the carrier coverage that NA has. There are many companies successful in the US and not out of US, let alone out of North America.

    Just so you’re aware, one can fit the whole population of Canada into New York state! Heck we probably have more bears and cariboos then people. So for a Canadian company to do as well as them, that is success.

    • less than half ??

      lol how bout 5-7%

    • Actually it isn’t, the Lumia 900 is made for the US market and it isn’t out yet. It also carries a 100 million dollar ad campaign.

      • Pretty phone but will it be that much ahead of the rumour iPhone 5 or the BB10? Currently the stats for the Nokia 900 is this:

        1.4 Ghz – 4G LTE (doesn’t say it’s dual core, so not sure if the 1.4 is dual core, not sure if I should assume).Qualcomm APQ8055 for GSM

        8 MP camera with Carl Zeiss lens (excellent camera) with 1 mp front facing(bleh on this) and dual level flash

        512 SDRM – can’t remember what the current 9900 is, isn’t it around that?

        Its OS is Windows 7.5 Mango – unfamiliar with Windows mobile platform – but sounds like it’s a Google hybrid…

        Has hot spot – which is cool, but so does the current 9900 and no doubt the BB10

        So does the specs make it a game changer? Not really… I think it’s really about how the platform is useful to the consumer and again it’s all back to marketing… and the fact that it’s this beautiful bright blue colour… perhaps if the BB10 came out with bright colour phones it’ll catch the consumers’ eyes too?

        7 hrs talk time based upon 3G only

        I notice it does’t give the battery useage based upon LTE which I’m sure will be halved just like current LTE Google phones.

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