Mike Lazaridis, who led development for the first BlackBerry device back in 1999 and co-founded Research In Motion, the company’s first name, reduced his stake in the firm to just 4.99 percent this week from 5.7 percent. The sale equated to selling 3.5 million shares for $27.4 million. In a regulatory filing released to the public on Tuesday, Lazaridis said he’s no longer interested in regaining control over BlackBerry, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Earlier this year, Lazaridis expressed interest in taking over the company after BlackBerry opened itself up to potential buyers in the face of plummeting profits. More recently however, newly-appointed CEO John Chen has promised to return the Canadian smartphone-maker to profitability, announcing, “Our ‘for sale’ sign has been taken down and we are here to stay.”
In a recent earnings call, Chen revealed the company has inked a deal with Chinese manufacturer Foxconn to help develop and produce future BlackBerry devices, including an upcoming entry-level smartphone codenamed Jakarta, which he said will run BlackBerry 10. The company is also apparently working on two new high-end handsets codenamed Ontario and Windermere to replace the unpopular Z10 and Q10 smartphones. Lazaridis’ sell off appears to signify that he doesn’t see success coming from BlackBerry’s current roadmap.