BlackBerry Founder Mike Lazaridis Steps Down After Flagship Z10 Hits One Million Sales

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After the release of BlackBerry's earnings, the company's co-founder Mike Lazaridis announced his plans to step down from the position of Vice Chairman and Director, which will be effective from May 1, 2013.

Commenting on his departure from the company he co-founded, Lazaridis said, "With the launch of BlackBerry 10, I believe I have fulfilled my commitment to the Board... I believe I am leaving the company in good hands."

Lazaridis co-founded BlackBerry (formerly, Research In Motion) in 1984 with the help of former co-CEO Jim Balsillie. He built BlackBerry making it one of the leading smartphone and mobile enterprise platform, but unfortunately the company failed to compete with the fast-moving threat of Apple iPhone and Google Android OS. Lazaridis and Balsillie served as co-CEOs until a run of poor performance and shareholder frustration led to them step down by themselves and the current CEO Thorsten Heins had replaced them. Further, Laziridis plans to focus on his newly founded Quantum Valley Investments venture.

Click here for Z10 images...

BlackBerry Founder Mike Lazaridis Steps Down After Z10 Reaches 1M

Click here for Z10 images...

Surprisingly, this announcement of the founder of BlackBerry comes after the announcement of the sales of the company's flagship smartphone Z10. BlackBerry announced that Z10 has achieved an impressive sales figure of one million units along with five million sales of the previous generation smartphones.

Besides smartphones, the Canadian firm has also shipped over 370,000 PlayBook tablets. But still, the user base of BB devices have slipped from 79 million to 76 million, which is quite worrying.

At the event, BlackBerry's current CEO Thorsten Heins said of Lazaridis claiming that, "I admire Mike for his many achievements and for his vision in helping bring BlackBerry 10 to fruition... On a personal level, I am grateful to Mike for his help, guidance and advice during my first 15 months as CEO of BlackBerry. I wish him all the best."

Talking about BlackBerry Z10, the smartphone packs a 4.2 inch capacitive touchscreen display with 1280 x 768 pixel resolution, 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4470 dual-core processor, 8MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, 16GB internal storage, 2GB RAM, micro SD card slot, HDMI port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G LTE and a removable 1,800 mAh battery.

Despite of being priced at Rs 43,490 in India and subjected to a wide range of criticism, Z10 has been sold out in India within two days of its release.

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