Former BlackBerry Chief Balsillie to Lead Canada Clean Tech FundBloombergJim Balsillie
Former longtimeResearch in Motion Ltd. BB.T -7.76% Chief Executive Jim Balsillie is taking on a leadership role with a Canadian government-run clean technology fund, the latest step in distancing himself from the BlackBerry maker.
Mr. Balsillie was named Tuesday as chair of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a not-for-profit foundation that invests in clean technology projects. He will hold the part-time position for a five-year term.
The Ottawa-based fund has invested 592 million Canadian dollars ($565 million) in 245 projects since it was founded in 2001. The Canadian government recently allocated C$325 million over eight years to the fund.
“Mr. Balsillie’s extensive accomplishments as an entrepreneur and innovator mean he will be a superb contributor to the development of innovative energy and environmental technology solutions,” Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver, said in a statement.
Mr. Balsillie, along with former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, helped build RIM into a multi-billion dollar global company that developed the first widely popular smartphone. But, he and Mr. Lazaridis were at the helm of RIM as it lost ground in the smartphone market to competitors like Apple Inc. AAPL +2.22%
Mr. Balsillie stepped down as co-CEO of RIM early last year, and later stepped down from the company’s board as well. Since leaving the company he has devoted more time to a foreign policy think-tank he founded.
Mr. Lazaridis, who also stepped down as co-CEO last year and left RIM’s board this year, has pursued his own interests, investing millions of his own money into quantum mechanics research.