James Balsillie and Michael Lazaridis

2006 Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year award recipients

James L.Balsillie and Michael Lazaridis

Research In Motion


Mike Lazaridis, Co-Chief Executive Officer, RIM

Mike Lazaridis is known in the global wireless community as a visionary, innovator, and engineer of extraordinary talent. He founded Research In Motion (RIM) while studying engineering at the University of Waterloo. As President and Co-Chief Executive Officer at RIM, Mike leads product strategy, R&D, product development, and manufacturing.

Mike is a passionate advocate for education and scientific research, and a generous philanthropist. He is a member of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Ontario Research and Innovation Council, and a Governor of the Information Technology Association of Canada. He has long been a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Waterloo and in 2003 was installed as Chancellor.

His philanthropic gifts include a $50 million donation to the University of Waterloo to help establish the Institute for Quantum Computing, and a $100 million gift to establish the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Mike is a recipient of honorary doctorates of Engineering from both the University of Waterloo and McMaster University. He shared Canada's most prestigious innovation prize, The Ernest C. Manning Principal Award, with RIM colleague Gary Mousseau. He was named an Officer to the Order of Canada in 2006 and was listed on the TIME 100 List of Most Influential People in 2005 along with Jim Balsillie.

Jim Balsillie, Chairman and Co-CEO, RIM

Jim Balsillie has been Chairman and Co-CEO of RIM since 1992. At RIM, he is responsible for driving corporate strategy, business development, marketing, sales, and finance. He earned a Bachelor of Commerce from University of Toronto and an MBA from Harvard University before launching his career as a Chartered Accountant.

Also a leader in both business and community, in 2002, Jim announced a major endowment gift to establish the Center for International Governance Innovation, a non-profit, non-partisan research institution dedicated to improving approaches to transnational policy issues in the new global economy. This new institute is a world center for research, scholarship and outreach.

Jim is a founding donor of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, a patron of the Grand River Hospital (where his gift established a new cancer care center) and a founder of the Waterloo Regional Children’s Museum.

He has received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, and was also elected a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (FCA), the highest designation that the Institute confers. Jim is also a talented athlete, and a passionate fitness advocate. He plays hockey and golf at competitive levels, coaches his son's soccer and basketball teams, and trains for and competes in triathlons.

please note:
company names and biographical information here reflects the role and activity held at the time of receiving the award

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