In the Q4 FY2013 earnings it was announced that BlackBerry’s founder, Mike Lazaridis would retire.

“We are grateful to Mike for his contributions to BlackBerry during the past three decades,” said Barbara Stymiest, Chairman of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors. “Mike invented the BlackBerry and is widely recognized as one of Canada’s greatest innovators. Mike played a pivotal role for the past 15 months in helping with the leadership transition and the successful launch of BlackBerry 10. We deeply respect and appreciate Mike’s desire to devote his full-time efforts to his exciting new venture, and we wish him all the best.”

“I admire Mike for his many achievements and for his vision in helping bring BlackBerry 10 to fruition,” said CEO Thorsten Heins. “On a personal level, I am grateful to Mike for his help, guidance and advice during my first 15 months as CEO of BlackBerry. I wish him all the best.”

“With the launch of BlackBerry 10, I believe I have fulfilled my commitment to the Board,” Lazaridis said. “Thorsten and his team did an excellent job in completing BlackBerry 10. We have a great deal of which to be proud. I believe I am leaving the company in good hands. I remain a huge fan of BlackBerry and, of course, wish the company and its people well.”

Mike Lazaridis will step down from the BlackBerry Board effective May 1, 2013. It was a great run, Mike. Best of luck in your Quantum Valley Investments venture!