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Jim Balsille sells all BlackBerry shares

Former BlackBerry co-CEO Jim Balsillie has relinquished his share in the company he helped build, after it was revealed he has sold all of his BlackBerry shares.

Previously holding the third-largest stock share in Research In Motion, now BlackBerry, a document filed with U.S regulators shows Balsillie cleaned out all of his shares in the company by the end of December last year.

According to the files obtained by, at the end of 2011 Balsillie owned more than 26 million shares in the smartphone manufacturer. The market value per stock was just under $15 by the year-end of 2011, making Balsillie’s personal stake in the company worth near to $400 million (£258 million) at that point in time.

It is not known when or for how much Basillie sold his BlackBerry shares, but in light of the fact he was leading the company at the start of 2011, it seems that Basillie felt he was jumping a sinking ship ahead of the company’s January BlackBerry 10 OS launch alongside its two début BB10 handsets, the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10.

Balsillie joined the former RIM in the early 1990s, when he invested $250,000 of his own money into the start-up by re-mortgaging his home. Credited for bringing BlackBerry mobiles into the mainstream markets, he began by handing out free handsets at selected tech conferences where the Blackberry began to revolutionise the accepted modes of communication.

However, he was also partly blamed for the company’s slow reaction to other smart phone competitors such as the Apple iPhone and the disastrous network outages the company suffered in 2011 that severely dented its reputation in the mobile markets.

By January 2012, Basillie has resigned as co-CEO alongside the company’s co-found Mike Lazaridis, instead demoting themselves to directors and taking a combined $12 million severance package between them. However, not two months later, Basillie left BlackBerry entirely and now has relinquished any claim to the company he helped establish.

With an exceptional first sales week and demand for the handset high, the recently launched BlackBerry Z10 has been a great success for BlackBerry, especially as critics claimed that the BB10 launch would be a make or break event for the Canadian smartphone manufacturer.

Do you think the BlackBerry Z10 has been a success for BlackBerry? Or do you think Balsillie was right to abandon ship? Let us know via the Trusted Reviews Facebook and Twitter pages or the comment boxes below.  


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