With best wishes to Mike and Jim, from CrackBerry

All the Best Mike and Jim!
By Team CrackBerry on 26 Jan 2012 05:43 pm EST

Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, you will always be a part of Research In Motion. And a part of CrackBerry. You've led RIM, you've built RIM for so many years that it is difficult to imagine the company that makes BlackBerry without Jim and Mike L. As co-Chief Executive Officers, you each worked to support each other: Mike knew how to make technology work; Jim knew how to make money and grow the company.

The first Research In Motion product was the Budgie, a system for displaying information on a television screen. Think PowerPoint meets Pong. It was not what one would call a commercial success. But Mike didn't let that stop him or the company. He took the lessons learned from the experiment and applied them to other jobs, other products.

Today, Research In Motion is a bit more successful with some 70 million BlackBerry owners worldwide. The Smartphone can be found in the hands of government officials, doctors, lawyers, students, teachers, the rich and famous, internet bloggers, and that guy down the street. There are BlackBerry lovers in countries all over the world; without Mike and Jim, that would not be so.

Waterloo is home to Research In Motion, and the company has never forgotten that. The University of Waterloo's Institute of Quantum Computing, the Perimeter Institute, the Centre for International Governance Innovation, the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and others owe their existence to the two leaders of RIM. It is said that Jim and Mike would be billionaires if not for the millions of dollars they've donated over the years.

CrackBerry, too, owes a debt of gratitude toward RIM's once co-CEO's. Without such a compelling product, the world's most visited BlackBerry blog, forum and store would not be here today. The awesome power of the BlackBerry, its features, and capabilities continue to bring new people to the platform, and to us.

Without Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie at the helm, it is the end of an era. Yet at the same time, we're excited for change. Thorsten Heins has seen RIM in her greatest glory; he has seen the challenging days as well. There is a transition in place to ready RIM for another decade of excellence in the mobile computing space, a plan started when RIM acquired QNX.

The QNX-based operating system that will run BlackBerry Smartphones and already runs the BlackBerry PlayBook is a mighty, powerful one. Perhaps even the most powerful. It will be Thorsten who fosters the growth of this platform and brings this new generation of BlackBerry to the world. He has hard work ahead of him and two sets of rather large shoes to fill. We have faith in him.

Even before this past Monday's press call, Thorsten Heins had proved his commitment to listening to customers, enterprise and consumer alike. Minutes after the world learned of his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of Research In Motion, Thorsten gave a call to our Founder, Kevin Michaluk. The message, spoken by both the action and in words, was heard. Thank you to the CrackBerry Nation for your support and enthusiasm.

Even as Thorsten fills those rather large set of shoes, Research In Motion could not have turned her back on two of the men who created her. In their reduced roles on the Company's board, the knowledge and experience of Lazaridis and Balsillie will still be a formidable resource for RIM. Though now their expertise will be used to help others chart a course, rather than call the headings themselves.

Without the weight of one of Canada's largest companies riding on their shoulders, what will Jim and Mike do with their extra time? Will we see Mike L. roaming the halls of the Perimeter Institute, discussing the latest findings of the unseen world? Will Jim ever get his hockey team (we're rooting for you, Jim!)? Only time will tell how these men spend their well deserved time off and well deserved millions of dollars.

Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, together you and countless people at Research In Motion created the BlackBerry Smartphone. And, by extension, CrackBerry.com. From the bottoms of our hearts, thank you. Thank you for being so Bold as to think you could change how the world thought about email. Thank you for introducing the average consumer to the awesome power of the Smartphone, the awesome power of a BlackBerry. The CrackBerry Nation salutes you, good sirs, and we wish nothing but the best for you; Research In Motion; and that brand we love so dearly, BlackBerry.  

Reader comments

With best wishes to Mike and Jim, from CrackBerry


I truly hope Thorsten leads them to the top. If RIM ever went belly up, I will stock up on extra BlackBerries to cover me for the next few years :)

Their blackberry would run out of battery pretty soon from all those sounds and blinking LED

Thanks Mike and Jim for building the BlackBerry Empire into what it is today. Now it's time for Thorsten to supercharge BlackBerry into the future.

Geniuses both! Their vision and what they built was on their terms and is head and shoulders above the competition at Apple and Google. Their critics have largely been derivatives traders and insiders gaming the system . Thanks for all your hard work.

Well said! Sometimes you have to step back and look at the big picture to really see amazing accomplishments! There maybe a few bumps right now, but their impact on the industry and space cannot be debated!

Mike and Jim give me a job man... to help turn things around ....look i could start off in marketing were the results could be easily measured.. a new out of the box perspective...not crazy ..smart.. you guys have done a wonderful job driving rim and need a much deserved rest at this point. anyway back to getting things going.. my plan. day one. get a white playbook. doesnt cost a lot, doesnt need a ceo change, wont rile the markets and stands out over the rows of black larger tablets. done... day two....well now this is were the job starts... so i hope hear from you soon.....no really

Thank you Jim and Mike for having the strength and foresight to transition to a new OS that will reinvigorate RIM and produce even better BB products.

For all of those special moments of the last 3 years, I tip my hat to the providers of the gift I use daily.

It has been an interesting ride. The coaster is climbing, rattling upwards, shaking the cars, making people squeal and groan in anticipation.

Right now, it is dark, and when the cars reach the top, do we really know those tracks are there to take us into the next Curve? Are we Bold enough to remain on the ride? Do we go out in Style? Let's light a Torch, hold our breath, and pray the Storms have passed.


Hehe. Good analogy. I got a good snicker out of reading it and agreed :) Mike and Jim, you did a lot and gave it your all. You have paved the road for the next generation to take over and lead us Boldly where no BlackBerry has gone before.

Boldly sent from my 9930

Ya, thanks a lot Mike and Jim for taking my nest egg and turning it into snake eyes. You have destroyed a fine company with your immense egos.

First rule of investing in stocks is never risk your nest egg if you can't afford it. Nobody to blame but yourself.

Ya, thanks a lot Mike and Jim for taking my nest egg and turning it into snake eyes. You have destroyed a fine company with your immense egos.

I am glad I made the switch to Blackberry when I first saw the pearl 8130 (CDMA), I loved it, gotten to know all it's quirks and awesome tools and push e-mail, I then went bold with the 9700 (still have it, someone else has the pearl now), I have since gotten the 9900, still being bold and loving everything about it. All those nice lovely quirks, even new ones, are still edging me and keeping me on the edge, the sleekiness and ease of use, customizability and performance (javascript really slows sometimes), over all else, I will always stick with the blackberry. The keyboard, platform and apps I use are keeping me. I could go nowhere else had I stayed on windows mobile or went android or apple. I'll always remain a blackberry user, I might even pickup a big blue GSM model just for the hell of it or one with a clickwheel. Thank you Mike and Jim. I love my blackberry! :)

May Research in Motion live strong, prosper and never trip over those speedbumps, but fly over them and speed into the sunset! :)

Cheers! I was thinking of doing something like a tribute to the guys who changed the world forever. Very nicely done Crackberry! You have a lot of class.
I for one am super excited about the future of Blackberry. I never really cared until I got the 9900 + playbook combo. I'm excited to be a developer also! I'm working to acquire some licenses to make apps.

It's unfortunate about all the sleazy bad media and press from the US. It must have been a rough year for the both of you. It was totally undeserved.

One day you will see how many real fans you have. Keep up the good work. Go waterloo!!!

Great article and I agree and also wish them much success in whatever they plan to do now!
TEAM CRACKBERRY all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!

Indeed, Mike and Jim have been BOLD in their leadership in founding RIM and held high the TORCH in smartphone development. Their PEARLS of wisdom have lead BlackBerry to well documented growth and profitability. Though life has thrown them a CURVE, they have handled it with STYLE in choosing Thorsten to guide RIM for the future.

Without Mike and Jim I would be stuck with one of those other bloody phones because of Mike and Jim I have my much loved BlackBerry and Playbook. Thanks guys.

Thank you Mike Lazaridis, Jim Balsillie and all the RIM people from yesterday, today and tomorrow. You created and will continue creating great things made in Canada. So proud to be part of this. As BGK, said, thank you for giving us variety, and not trying to cut your customers with the same mold. To each, her/his own BlackBerry!

It has been said:
"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see."
I leave it to Kevin, his staff and Crackberry Nation to figure out where Mike L. & Jim B. fit in this 'metaphor'
- I Boldly say Both!

I've upgraded to a Bold 9930 and also have a Playbook.
I love the products and the awesome infrastructure behind them.

Mike, thanks for making devices that make our lives more efficient.
Welcome Mr. T.

Very nice tribute and fitting for the great things they did. However, they could be billionaires, but if they aren't it isn't because they game it away and were so charitable, its because they let RIM stock lose 75% of its value and fall below $40 a share .

Everytime I use my BlackBerry, I can't help but appreciate how special it is. It has never failed me, even though I've dropped it countless times.

Thank-you Mike and Jim for all the time and effort both of you have spent in the creation, development and marketing of these great smartphones, known to the World as "BlackBerrys."

May your future endeavours bring you satisfaction and happiness.

- CB