Somehow things keep spelling misfortune for BlackBerry. According to regulatory filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, former co-CEO of Blackberry Jim Balsillie has sold off his entire stake in the company.
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Just a year ago Balsillie was the one of the largest individual shareholders in the company with 26.8-million shares, but in the documents filed today that share number has been reduced to zero, reports Bloomberg.
Balsillie’s arrival at BlackBerry in 1992 marked a turning point in the company’s business, says the New York Times. According to the Times, a personal investment of US$125 000 from Balsillie saved the company in its early days.
Last year Balsillie stepped down as co-CEO along with Mike Lazaridis, after failing to recapture market share from Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android based devices, despite the introduction of new devices and an updated operating system. Lazaridis, who still serves as vice chairman of BlackBerry, owns 29.9-million shares in the company.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the company’s share price was down around seven percent in the early hours trading, although it seems to have bounced back to trade up 5.2% to US$14.70. The Journal surmises that the stock has shown some promise since falling as low as US$6.22 last September, though it remains well below where it traded during its heyday a few years ago.
Balsillie’s move to dump all his stocks as well as cut all ties to the company after resigning from its board last March raises concerns around the future of the once leader in mobile manufacturing.
Last month, the company formerly known as Research In Motion (RIM) launched a new line of devices that it hopes will be its out-of-ashes phoenix. The BlackBerry 10 OS has been a major talking point for the company for the past year and current CEO, Thorsten Heins, has even hinted that the OS could be licensed to other manufacturers.