RIM’s New CEO, Thorsten Heins: ‘This is the Right Time for Change’

Effective today, Thorsten Heins is the new chief executive officer of Waterloo’s Research In Motion. Even though many investors have been begging for Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis to step down, RIM’s shares have nonetheless tumbled more than 6% on the news.

Some say because Thorsten is a hand-picked insider, he’s too much of the same thing. But despite 27 years of telecom experience, Thorsten is a relative unknown. So Financial Post TechDesk editor Matt Hartley sat down with him to pick at the new CEO’s brain.

“This is the right time to do this change,” the newly minted CEO says in the interview. “This is a natural point where the stars are just lining up perfectly to do this change in leadership.”

When you take over a high tech company such as RIM — with a lot of ingredients like services, data networks and devices — you need to understand the culture of the company. RIM has a very special innovation culture. We scaled this company up, and I was part of that scaling for the last four years. So already I have introduced some of changes within RIM that we didn’t talk loudly about. I know the company, but I also bring to the table 27 years of telecom experience. I’ve run businesses before, and I think that helps RIM to really grow and to take this company to the next level. That’s what I want to do and that’s where my energy will be.

To learn more about Thorsten, and get a feel for where RIM is headed, check out Matt’s interview in full.

Photo: Geoff Robisn Reuters, Postmedia News