Lazaridis, Mike PDF
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Born:
Turkey March 14, 1961
Founder of Research In Motion (RIM), creator and manufacturer of BlackBerry.

Personal, education, and career history

Born in Turkey to Greek parents, Lazaridis was five years old when his family moved to Canada in 1966, settling in Windsor, Ontario. At age 12, he won a prize at the Windsor Public Library for reading every science book in the library. In 1979, he enrolled at the University of Waterloo in electrical engineering with an option in computer science. He dropped out in 1984, just two months before he was scheduled to graduate, having been offered a lucrative contract from General Motors for the nascent RIM. With a $15,000 loan from his parents, a small government grant and a contract from General Motors, he and Douglas Fregin launched RIM, which would become one of Canada's largest and most successful high-tech companies, and would later develop the BlackBerry.

Mike Lazaridis resigned from CEO on January 22, 2012. Over the year of 2011, RIM's share price dropped by more than 70 per cent, its market share in the United States collapsed to just 9 per cent, it missed numerous profit estimates and the company delayed key products and crucial software updates. RIM was plagued by days of global network outages, disappointing global investors.

Philanthropic work

On October 23, 2000, Lazaridis founded the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics with $100 million of personal funds, along with $10 million contributions from fellow RIM executives Jim Balsillie and Doug Fregin.

On April 30, 2004, Lazaridis and his wife together donated $33.3 million to the University of Waterloo for its Institute for Quantum Computing.

On May 3, 2005, Lazaridis gave an additional $17.2 million to the University of Waterloo, primarily to aid the construction of a new building jointly shared by the Institute for Quantum Computing and the nanotechnology engineering program.

On June 4, 2008, a further donation of $50 million to the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics was announced.

Awards and accolades

On October 21, 2000 he received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, and in June 2003 became its eighth chancellor. He was named Canada's Nation Builder of the Year for 2002 by readers of the Globe and Mail newspaper. In 2006, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of Ontario.

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