Legendary Founders Exit Two Tech Giants To Make Way for M&A?


January 26, 2012

It is time for a changing of the old guard it seems. A new era in mobile and consumer Internet is taking its toll on the founders responsible for Blackberry and Yahoo!, two of the most well-known brands from two of the leading companies of the last decade, namely Research in Motion (RIM) and Yahoo.


Both tech giants saw the departure of their founding executives in the past two weeks. The driver of the management changes is battered share prices and investors that want a change.


Jerry Yang, who co-founded Yahoo in the mid-nineties, announced that he was stepping down from the board and severing ties with the company. The move is seen as “smoothing the way for a major infusion of cash from private equity” or a deal to sell off Yahoo’s stake in China’s Alibaba, unlocking value for shareholders, Reuters reports.


In Canada, RIM’s co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, the men who founded RIM were replaced by an internal executive, according to Reuters. The move is seen as preparing the way for a turnaround of the company, or a trade sale. RIM still has a loyal following, particularly among business users due to the security and stability of its email services.


It recently introduced a tablet device that benefits from that market position, with high-profile business users, such as Aviva and Royal Bank of Scotland using the new RIM tablet as a replacement for insurance forms and questionnaires that used to be on paper, reports ZDNet in an article entitled Why this $90 Billion British Insurer is High on BlackBerry PlayBooks.

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