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The Information Technology 100


Research In Motion

Research in Motion is a storied darling of techdom. Over the past decade, the company's co-founders slogged away, creating the innovative Blackberry device they paired with rock-solid software and services to create an entirely new market: E-mail on the go. Oprah Winfrey and Jack Welch are among the millions of people who have proclaimed their addiction to RIM's devices, labeled crackberries. But now, for the first time, Blackberry is beginning to face real competition.

Wireless carriers, key to RIM's success, are signing up other e-mail upstarts in hopes of making wireless e-mail a mass-market service. And Microsoft's update of its own mobile e-mail service is looming, as well. As a counterpunch, RIM is licensing its software to cell-phone makers, including Nokia and Samsung, hoping to broaden the appeal of the Blackberry brand. The race for the mobile e-mail and data market may only be in its early stages, but the competitors are already jostling.

Company Info

Revenues* $1.4 BILLION
Revenue Growth 127.1%
Return on Equity 10.8%
Total Return38.1%
Profits* $213.4 MILLION
All figures are for the most recent available 12 months.

* Latest available data for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, Jan. 31, Feb. 29, Mar. 31, or Apr. 30. For companies that do not report quarterly, the most recent annual data were used.

Data provided by Standard & Poor's Compustat, BusinessWeek

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Company Snapshot

Research In Motion Limited engages in the research, design, manufacture, and sale of wireless solutions for the mobile communication industry. It provides platforms and solutions to e-mail, phone, short message service, organizer, Internet, and intranet-based corporate data applications. The company also licenses its technology to handset and software vendors. Customers for the company include primarily carrier partners, resellers, and end users. RIM has offices in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. The company was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Waterloo, Canada.

No. of Employees


Data provided by Capital IQ
James L. Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis (co-CEOs)

James L. Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis (co-CEOs)


Jim Balsillie is Chairman and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. He is responsible for directing RIM's strategy, business development and finance. Prior to joining RIM in 1992, Mr. Balsillie was Executive Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors with Sutherland-Shultz Limited in Kitchener, Ontario. He has also held the positions of Senior Associate, Strategy Consulting Group and Senior Accountant, Entrepreneurial Services Group at Ernst & Young in Toronto. In 2002, Mr. Balsillie founded The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), a world-class global research institute focused on the restructuring of international governance, with particular emphasis on financial and economic institutions. Mr. Balsillie is a Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Harvard.

Mike Lazaridis is President and Co-CEO of Research In Motion, a company he founded while a student at the University of Waterloo, Canada. At RIM, he is responsible for product strategy, research and development, product development, and manufacturing. Since founding RIM he has earned more than thirty patents and dozens of industry and community awards for his innovations in wireless radio technology and software. Mr. Lazaridis was named Canada's Nation Builder of the Year for 2002 by readers of The Globe and Mail. He holds an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and in June 2003 was named the University's 8th Chancellor.