Jim Balsillie, ex-CEO of BlackBerry, has dumped his entire 26.8 million share stake in the company for around $362 million, it has been revealed today. Balsillie was co-CEO - with Mike Lazaridis - up until last March, when he was asked to step down due to BlackBerry's plummeting stock price and lack of innovation in key areas such as tablets and smartphones.
Current CEO Thorsten Heins took the reigns and introduced the BlackBerry Z10, Q10 and BlackBerry 10 OS earlier in February. The Z10 was met with mediocre reviews, with many saying that it simply wasn't far enough ahead of Apple's iPhone, or Samsung's Galaxy S3 to compete. BB10 - BlackBerry's take on a "modern" smartphone OS - met with some praise of it's unique interface, but also with criticism of it's lack of apps and general deficiencies, such as the lack of home screen widgets.
Many are predicting that BlackBerry's new devices - the Z10, which includes a full touchscreen; and the Q10, which includes a keyboard/touchscreen combo - will not sell well. Add to that the decline in BlackBerry's usage among enterprise professionals and you have a very bleak picture.
Mike Lazaridis, who was co-CEO with Jim Balsillie, now serves as BlackBerry's vice chairman and owns 29.9 million shares, thought to be worth around $403 million.
BlackBerry's share price has since risen to $15.07.