One of the stranger topics in our world has been the concept of Co-CEOs. The most famous example of this odd concept is Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie of Research in Motion (now BlackBerry). These two were replaced by Thorston Heins in 2012, but that transition has not panned out well. BlackBerry took forever to launch its BlackBerry 10 OS, which was plagued by marketing disasters, and that was the best aspect of the company's performance over the past year.
Currently, the company is considering sales of either the entire company, or parts, depending on what bidders might be interested in. Those bidders might be less interested as this week it was announced that they will see a $1 billion loss, which I assumed they spent on Grand Theft Auto V. With all of that said, there is one individual who might be interested in making a bid: former Co-CEO and founder Mike Lazaridis.
Reports suggest that Lazaridis has actually been in talks with two investment firms: Blackstone Group and the Carlyle Group. If he gets his way, he might be able to pull a Dell and buy his company back. The important question here is, can the founder's return help the company?
When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he revived the company from bankruptcy to a valuable corporation, but Jobs was fired by someone who wanted to take the company in a different direction. Lazaridis' departure was a direct response to the company's performance.
His return to the helm of the company could return the company to its glory days of the early 2000s, or it could continue down the path we have been seeing. Of course all of this is currently speculation, but BlackBerry definitely needs a new direction, and possibly their old direction of appealing to enterprise and not consumers under their former leader might be just what they need. It certainly couldn't hurt, right?
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