BlackBerry Execs Walk the Plank After Dismal Q4

Jim Balsillie, CEO of BlackBerry-maker RIM, steps down in wake of weak Q4 earnings report. COO and chief tech officer also resign

Last Updated: March 29, 2012 @ 3:28 PM

Jim Balsillie, the chairman of the board and former CEO of BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion, resigned on Thursday, as did the company’s COO and chief technological officer.

News of the Balsillie's exit came in a release in which RIM also reported dismal fourth-quarter earnings. The company missed both its revenue and profit targets for the three-month period ended March 3.

Also read: BlackBerry Maker RIM's CEO Promises Stability After Year of Turmoil

Chief operating officer Jim Rowan and chief technological exec David Yach also stepped down.

RIM reported quarterly revenues of $4.19 billion, far below expectations, and earnings per share of  81 cents, in line with Wall Street's modest expectations. During the same period a year ago, the company reported revenue of $5.6 billion and earnings of $1.78 per share.

Wall Street had projected that RIM would report $4.54 billion in revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter.

"We are undertaking a comprehensive review of strategic opportunities including partnerships and joint ventures, licensing, and other ways to leverage RIM's assets and maximize value for our stakeholders,” CEO Thorsten Heins said in a statement.

The company has hemorrhaged market share in the smart-phone sector to Google and Apple, and also spurred consumer backlash with a lengthy service outage last October.

Its share price has tanked as a result, declining 82 percent over the past two years.

That performance prompted Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, his co-CEO and the founder of the company, to step down from that position in January, paving the way for Heins.

RIM reported that it sold 11.1 million BlackBerrys, which was just below expectations of 11.2 million units. Providing a glimmer of good news, RIM sold more than 500,000 PlayBook tablets, in its best-ever quarter for sales of the devices.