Jim Balsillie co-CEO of RIM stepped down a long time ago. He and Mike Lazaridis named Thorsten Heins President and CEO of the company in January, 2012. We now know of RIM as Blackberry, since the name recently changed.
All that aside, everyone made a big stink when Balsillie sold off all his shares in the company- all $385 million. Tech companies everywhere exploded, saying Balsillie had lost faith in the company and he was jumping ship before he lost his investments. I explained at the time, that it was probably just because he was moving on to greener pastures. It turns out that was true.
Jim Balsillie just signed on as the chair of Sustainable Development Technology Canada for a five-year term. Essentially, the SDTC is focused on providing clean technologies that better benefit the environment and world around us. More specifically, the government has invested $325 million to put towards fixing issues with climate changes, ground contamination (air, soil and water), and to improve the overall economic health of Canada.
Of course, the company plans to do so through solar power, waste management, agriculture, transportation projects and more. With that amount of money for funding, I don’t see why they can’t figure something out.
So in other words, Balsillie has gone green. This is certainly something that Blackberry has yet to do. Especially since a lot of other manufacturers out there are now revamping their production and development processes to be eco-friendly. For example, Sony has Greenheart which is a campaign to build their mobile products with more environmentally friendly materials.
While this information may not be totally relevant to the current state of the company, or Blackberry as a whole- it’s interesting to see where Balsillie has ended up. He was, after all, the co-leader of the company. It will also be interesting to see how well he performs in the role, considering Blackberry has never had a particular focus on staying green. I’m sure he’ll do just fine though, just as he did for Blackberry during his time with the company.
Though, he has nothing on Heins who is lauded for returning Blackberry to profitability.
Here’s the official press release on Balsillie’s new job:
SDTC Welcomes Appointment of Jim Balsillie as Chair
OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – June 25, 2013) – SDTC is pleased to welcome Jim Balsillie as Chair of its Board of Directors.
Mr. Balsillie has over 20 years of experience at the senior executive level. He is the co-founder and former co-CEO of Research in Motion (BlackBerry), and the founder and current Chair of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
“This is an exciting time for SDTC, and for cleantech in general, as we set our sights on the dynamic trillion-dollar global cleantech market,” said Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC. “Mr. Balsillie brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to SDTC including a deep understanding of the challenges of commercializing innovation, an awareness of the international drivers for sustainable development, and a demonstrated commitment to strong leadership and governance.Together with the Board of Directors, I warmly welcome Mr. Balsillie to SDTC.”