Lazaridis announced his intention to step down in January 2012, but remained as vice chair and director on the board, agreeing to see the BlackBerry 10 launch through.
Last week, he announced the launch of his own new business venture, Quantum Valley Investments, shortly followed by today’s revelation his full departure will become effective as of May 1.
“With the launch of BlackBerry 10, I believe I have fulfilled my commitment to the Board,” Lazaridis said.
“Thorsten and his team did an excellent job in completing BlackBerry 10. 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.”
BlackBerry accepted Lazaridis decision to leave, and thanked him for playing a key role in ensuring the successful rollout of the BlackBerry 10, which was launched in January.
We are grateful to Mike for his contributions to BlackBerry during the past three decades,” said Barbara Stymiest, chairman of BlackBerry’s board of directors. “Mike invented the BlackBerry and is widely recognised as one of Canada’s greatest innovators.
“Mike played a pivotal role for the past 15 months in helping with the leadership transition and the successful launch of BlackBerry 10. We deeply respect and appreciate Mike’s desire to devote his full-time efforts to his exciting new venture, and we wish him all the best.”
Thorsten Heins, chief executive officer (CEO) of BlackBerry - who took over from Lazaridis and co-CEO Jim Balsillie 15 months ago - thanked Lazaridis for his personal support.
“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.”
The company took the opportunity to announce fourth quarter (Q4) results - ended March 2 - revealing revenue amounted to US$2.7 billion, a decline on both previous quarter and Q4 2012 results.
BlackBerry also disclosed six million smartphones were shipped in Q4, of which approximately 10 million units were BlackBerry 10 devices.
“With the launch of BlackBerry 10, we have introduced the newest and what we believe to be the most innovative mobile computing platform in the market today. Customers love the device and the user experience, and our teams and partners are now focused on getting those devices into the hands of BlackBerry consumer and enterprise customers,” said Heins.
“As we go into our new fiscal year, we are excited with the opportunities for the BlackBerry 10 platform, and the commitments we are seeing from our global developers and partners. We are also excited about the new, dynamic culture at BlackBerry, where we are laser-focused on continuing to drive efficiency and improve the Company’s profitability while driving innovation.”