01/22/2012 11:12 EST | Updated 01/23/2012 12:57 EST

Thorsten Heins: Who Is Research In Motion's New CEO


Who is Thorsten Heins? Late on Sunday, it was announced that Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, Research In Motion's co-CEOs and founders are stepping down and handing control of the company over to Heins, another member of RIM's leadership team.

Heins, who has the very large task of turning around the Canadian tech giant, has a formidable resume.

Heins first joined RIM in July, 2007, according to Before being handed the CEO position, he was COO of product and sales research and also ran the worldwide business of the company's handset portfolio. Business Week puts his annual compensation last year at $1.9 million.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Heins has more than 20 years of experience at German tech company Siemens where he was "a chief executive of several divisions within Siemens, including its communication business, and eventually rose to become technology chief."

"We've taken this [company] to new heights and that journey isn't over yet," Heins said in a video released by RIM Sunday, saying he thought the company could be a top three player in wireless.

The Globe And Mail says that Heins is likely to be on the hunt for a new Chief Marketing Officer to try to repair the company's image after a year filled with difficulties.

Naysayers, writing before Heins was appointed CEO, said that a leadership change is unlikely to save the company citing delays in the company's new product offerings. RIM is slated to release its next generation phones in the latter half of 2012.

"The product release timetable leaves too much space for the competition," Phillip Hassey, owner of research firm CapioIT told ZDnet Asia. "By then, it will be up against the near-mythical iPhone 5, and new Android and Windows devices."

Here's a look at Hein's CV, from RIM's website:

Thorsten holds a master's degree in Science and Physics from the University of Hannover in Germany. Thorsten also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Inc.

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