March 2013 in review: Co-founder Mike Lazaridis leaves BlackBerry

March comes in like a lion, goes a saying about the weather.

In 2013 it wasn’t roaring for Research In Motion co-founder Mike Lazaridis. After having to step down as co-CEO the year before and, according to reports, fighting over the struggling company’s strategy, he quietly announced he was leaving as vice-chair of the board of what is now called BlackBerry following another disappointing quarterly result.

It is hard to place him in the country’s IT history. He presided over the rise of the leading technology company in the country and one of the few Canadian global brands, only to see it seemingly paralyzed by the rise of the iPhone and then Android smart phones.

To rub salt into the wounds, the man Lazaridis and co-CEO Jim Balsillie chose to turn the company around, Thorsten Heins, failed as well (although admittedly Heins had to play the cards that were dealt to him).

Was Lazaridis another example of how Canadian executives can’t fight in the trenches?

He has a fertile mind and through his investment firm and the chairmanship Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, which he founded, he won’t be far from view.

Yet in October there was a sign he still thinks BlackBerry has a better future as co-founder Douglas Fregin tried to put together a consortium to takeover the company.

The move was apparently fruitless.

Also in March:

A data centre whodunnit: After the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab traced the controversial German surveillance software called FinFisher to data centres around the world, a Toronto provider admitted one of its customers had installed it here. Who was it and what was it being used for?

Canadian banks are considered among the best in the world when it comes to security, but that didn’t stop the TD Bank from being the victim of a DDoS attack

Startups Wind Mobile and Public Mobile cheer Ottawa’s decision to review any sale of spectrum. They figure it means Rogers Communications’ bid to buy the unused frequencies of Shaw Communications is dead.

According to The Software Alliance, Canada ranks 9th of 24 countries in regulations encouraging cloud computing

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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