So who is Thorsten Heins, RIM’s new CEO?

23 Jan 2012

Thorsten Heins, RIM's new CEO

Thorsten Heins has quite the job on his hands as new CEO of beleaguered company Research in Motion (RIM).

In the past year, the BlackBerry maker experienced a flop of a rollout of its PlayBook tablet, which should have been a solid competitor to Apple’s iPad. More recently, an outage experienced around the world of the BlackBerry email network damaged the platform’s hitherto secure and reliable reputation.

RIM’s co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have stepped down from their roles, paving the way for Heins, who was previously one of two chief operating officers at RIM. He had joined the company five years ago after holding the role of chief technology officer at Siemens.

Heins (54) has more than 27 years of experience in wireless networks and consumer electronics devices.

“Mr Heins has a global reputation for his organisational and leadership skills and his ability to build successful organisations that deliver on their commitments,” RIM said in a statement.

Heins, who was also RIM’s senior vice-president for the Handheld Business Unit before his COO role, played key roles in creating RIM’s product portfolio.

He has been with RIM since December 2007. Prior to that, he worked at Siemens AG, which he joined in 1984 after graduating from the University of Hannover in his native Germany. 

At Siemens, Heins worked his way up through R&D customer service, sales and product management positions. 

After serving as CEO of various business divisions in the communication business, Heins took on the mantle of chief technology officer and became member of the Group Board of the Siemens Communications Group.

Heins is married and has a son and daughter. When he’s not at work, he likes to spend his time outdoors bicycling, motorcycling, skiing or hiking.