John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Mike Lazaridis Leaves BlackBerry

lazaridis-380x253It’s the end of an era at BlackBerry.

As part of its fourth-quarter earnings announcement early this morning, the company said that co-founder and former CEO Mike Lazaridis will retire as vice chairman and director on May 1.

“[BlackBerry CEO] Thorsten [Heins] and his team did an excellent job in completing BlackBerry 10,” Lazaridis said in a statement. “We have a great deal of which to be proud. I believe I am leaving the company in good hands. I remain a huge fan of BlackBerry and, of course, wish the company and its people well.”

A smartphone pioneer who established BlackBerry in 1984 as Research In Motion, Lazaridis now plans to focus his attention on Quantum Valley Investment, a fund targeting commercial applications in quantum information science.

“Mike revolutionized the mobile communications industry and is widely recognized as one of Canada’s greatest innovators,” BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said of Lazaridis during a Thursday earnings call. “He’s played a pivotal role in the last 15 months with the launch of BlackBerry 10. I deeply respect his desire to devote his full-time efforts to his new venture.”

Lazaridis was an occasional guest at our D conferences. Below, video of his sessions at D7 and D:Dive Into Mobile:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald