Jim Balsillie

A document filed by BlackBerry today reveals that Jim Balsillie, who formerly served as co-CEO along with Mike Lazaridis, has sold off his entire stake in the company. As recently as last year, Balsillie held 28.6 million shares, a number that has rapidly plummeted to zero according to a regulatory filing. Balsillie and Lazaridis oversaw BlackBerry's meteoric rise in the mobile phone arena, but also occupied the top ranks during the company's stunning downfall.

For his part, Lazaridis has stayed on as vice chairman of BlackBerry - known as Research In Motion

When Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie were running Research In Motion, BlackBerry World was a chest-thumping celebration of RIM's successes and a showcase for the innovations that would assure its continued dominance.

Their successor Thorsten Heins will preside over a very different event.

Five months after replacing the longstanding co-CEOs, Heins desperately needs more time to right the now-struggling company and he likely has next to nothing concrete to offer his restless audience in terms of new products and services.

In late March, Heins embarked on a strategic review of the Canadian smartphone

Former Research In Motion co-chief executive Jim Balsillie sought to reinvent the BlackBerry smartphone maker with a radical shift in strategy before he stepped down, two sources with knowledge of his plans said.

Balsillie hoped to allow major wireless companies in North America and Europe to provide service for non-BlackBerry devices routed through RIM's proprietary network, a major break with the BlackBerry-only strategy pursued by RIM since its inception.

The plan would have let the carriers use the RIM network to offer inexpensive data plans, limited to social media and instant messaging

The founders and co-CEOs of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, have resigned their positions, the company announced Sunday. Thorsten Heins, the former COO, is the new president and CEO.

There's been no shortage of stockholder (and customer) discontent directed at RIM in the past year, and needless to say, the names of the longtime co-CEOs - Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis - occasionally come up in conversations about leadership changes. To help quell investor discontent in mid-2011, the company announced that it was appointing an independent committee to review its leadership structure; one of the points of contention was the dual role of the co-CEOs as co-chairmen of the board

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