TORONTO, March 30 (UPI) -- Canadian technology giant Research In Motion said it is shaking things up in its executive suite following a 25 percent drop in sales in the fourth quarter.
Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie is leaving after 20 years with the company. Top technology officer David Yach and Chief Operating Officer Jim Rowan are also departing, the company said.
Remaining CEO Thorsten Heins, two months into his job, recognizes the company must undergo dramatic changes, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. In a recent phone call, Heins said selling parts or all of the company were not at the top of his list of options but they were under consideration.
"It is now very clear to me that substantial change is what RIM needs," Heins said.
In the meantime, the firm is seeking to replace the Yach and Rowan and is looking for someone to take over marketing, Heins said.
The company was a technology ground-breaker in the mobile phone business, one of the first to establish e-mail systems in a handheld device.
But now it is playing catch up, surpassed by Apple Inc. and overwhelmed by phones running on Google's Android system.
Contrasting with RIM's revenue drop of 25 percent from October through December compared with the same three months a year earlier, Apple's sales rose 73 percent in the same time frame, the Journal said.
It's share value has plummeted, losing 75 percent in the past 12 months.
But Heins said the firm was still scheduled to launch its 10th generation Blackberry this year, despite having to write off $267 million on unsold Blackberry 7 models.
Analysts consider Microsoft a company with the potential to buy RIM although it may be waiting for the share price to drop further. Microsoft, however, declined to comment on any possible purchase offer.