This morning the media is all over the news that former co-CEO of Research In Motion now owns zero stock in the company we now call BlackBerry.
Here's the official SEC filing indicating that Balsillie now has no stock. He cleared out all holdings by December 31, 2012.
This really shouldn't surprise anyone. I have known Balsillie for many years. It's not like we had beers together at the local pub or anything, but people who have been around the technology sector on Bay Street in Canada since around the year 2000 have gotten to know Jim's personality pretty well. He's very competitive, very involved, and very opinionated. So when he and Mike Lazaridis stepped down from the co-CEO roles, and Jim then stepped down from the board, it was a clear sign he was not staying involved with the company in any way.
It was widely rumoured that he had a strategy disagreement with the board. Knowing Jim's opinionated personality (which I think is a good thing for a CEO, by the way) I'm not at all surprised that he sold every share.
He has moved on. That's all it means. This move says nothing about the potential success of the new BlackBerry 10 platform. It says nothing about the current strength of the management team. It's a personal choice by Jim Balsillie, and it should be respected.