While the general BlackBerry fan knows plenty about both Jim Balsille and Mike Lazaridis, not many know just who the new head honcho of Research In Motion is. In what seemed like a whirlwind night, long time co-CEOs Balsillie and Lazaridis stepped down as 4-year RIM employee Thorsten Heins took over as CEO. If you're a BlackBerry lover, fan or enthusiast you'll certainly be curious to know a bit of the story behind RIM's new Chief. Keep reading and we'll take a look at a bit of the history behind Thorsten Heins.
Thorsten Heins was born in Gifhorn, Germany on December 29, 1957 (he's actually four years older than Mike and Jim, who were both born in 1961, but he's looking pretty young!). Heins attended the University of Hannover in Germany where he earned a degree in science and physics. After graduating University, Heins joined Siemens AG in 1984 and would hold various positions with the company over the next 23 years. Starting out in Research and Development, Heins made his way through the company, holding the position of Chief Technology Officer of Siemens' Communications Division upon his departure in 2007. Heins joined Research In Motion in December of 2007 and became Senior Vice President of the BlackBerry Handheld division. In 2011, Heins became one of two Chief Operating Officers of Product Engineering during some management restructuring at RIM.
On January 22, 2012, Heins became the sole CEO of RIM, a position which had previously been held by both Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. Mike Lazaridis, former Co-Chair and Co-CEO, has become Vice Chair of RIM's Board and Chair of the Board's new Innovation Committee. Jim Balsillie will remain a member of the RIM's Board. The company had been struggling with ups and down through most of 2011, including a mixed-review BlackBerry Playbook launch, the biggest outage in RIM history and delays of the much anticipated BlackBerry 10 devices.
Heins is married with a son and daughter and earned approx. $1.92 million USD with RIM in 2011. We haven't met Thorsten in person yet (we're looking forward to that one), but our sources do tell us he is very personable, has a good sense of humor and is very TALL... 6'6". That's not quite as tall as our 6'8" Editor at Large, Simon Sage, but still damn tall.Read more on Thorsten Heins