BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis to leave company in May

28 Mar 2013

BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis

BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis will retire as vice-chairman and director of the company on 1 May to focus on his new venture, Quantum Valley Investments.

Lazaridis co-founded the Canadian company, formerly named Research in Motion (RIM), nearly 30 years ago and served as a co-CEO of the firm with Jim Balsillie until last year, when Lazaridis was elected vice-chair of the board and Thorsten Heins was appointed CEO.

Lazaridis announced the launch of Quantum Valley Investments last week.

“We are grateful to Mike for his contributions to BlackBerry during the past three decades,” said Barbara Stymiest, chairman of BlackBerry’s board of directors.

“Mike invented the BlackBerry and is widely recognised as one of Canada’s greatest innovators. Mike played a pivotal role for the past 15 months in helping with the leadership transition and the successful launch of BlackBerry 10 (operating system). We deeply respect and appreciate Mike’s desire to devote his full-time efforts to his exciting new venture, and we wish him all the best.”

Lazaridis said he believes he is leaving the company in good hands.

“With the launch of BlackBerry 10, I believe I have fulfilled my commitment to the board,” Lazaridis said.

“Thorsten and his team did an excellent job in completing BlackBerry 10. We have a great deal of which to be proud.”

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic