Morning Business Memo: Blackberry Shifts Leaders

Jan 23, 2012 7:25am

The co-chief executives of Blackberry maker Research in Motion are both stepping down. Jim Balsillie and Make Lazaridis spent 20 years building the Canadian-owned firm into a leader in smart phones. Blackberries were first devices to reliably delivery e-mail over the airwaves to tens of millions of users. But recently Research in Motion has struggled, suffering a sharp decline in sales. Blackberry has lost market share to Apple’s iPhone and other devices that run Google’s Android software. Balsillie and Lazaridis are being replaced by a senior executive from inside the firm.

New findings underscore the rapid changes for mobile technology. A report the Pew’s Internet and American Life Project says the number of adults who own tablets and e-readers nearly doubled over the holidays, from 10 percent to 19 percent in mid-December.

The quarterly survey from the National Association for Business Economics released today is more optimistic on US growth and inflation. “About two thirds of our NABE industry respondents expected significant growth of over 2 percent in this survey. In the last survey [in October] it was 16 percent,” says Nayantara Hensel, who chairs the survey committee. More jobs are a factor. “One reason for their increased optimism is the improvement in the labor market.”

Talks continue on a debt agreement for Greece between private creditors and government officials. European bank stocks rose this morning on hopes there will be a deal to allow Greece to receive a second bailout.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio twitter.com/daviesabc

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