Who is Mike Lazaridis?
Mike Lazaridis was born in Turkey – to Greek parents – in 1961. The family moved to Canada when he was 5. He is married to Ophelia, they have 2 children. He is the founder of Blackberry / Research in Motion and Quantum Valley Investments.
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 to study electrical engineering. During his last year at university, he co-founded RIM.
He holds an honorary doctoral degree in Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Lazaridis is the owner of the motor yacht Artefact.
BlackBerry Limited is a Canadian company specializing in enterprise software and the Internet of things. The company was originally named Research In Motion (RIM). It is best known for its BlackBerry smartphone brand.
Research In Motion
Research In Motion Limited was founded in 1984 by Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin. It started as a wireless data technology developer.
In 1999, RIM introduced the BlackBerry 850 pager. It was named after the resemblance of its keyboard’s keys to the druplets of the blackberry fruit. The Blackberry device could receive push emails.
In 2000 Rim introduced the first BlackBerry smartphone. Despite the arrival of the Apple iPhone in 2007, BlackBerry realized unprecedented market share growth well into 2011. In 2020 the company had 22 million users.
Quantum Valley Investments
Together with Blackberry co-founder Douglas Fregin, he founded Quantum Valley Investments.
The Quantum Valley Investment Fund provides financial and intellectual capital for the development and commercialization of quantum physics and quantum computing. The aim is to transform ideas and early-stage breakthroughs into commercially viable products, technologies, and services.
Mike Lazaridis Net Worth
His net worth is estimated at $800 million. According to a 2013 SEC statement, he still beneficially owns 4,99% of the company. The (approx) 26 million shares are worth around US$ 125 million.
In 2011 at the peak of Blackberry’s success Forbes estimated his net worth at US$ 1.9 billion.
He is an active philanthropist through his Lazaridis Family Foundation. He and his wife Ophelia donated more than US$100 million to the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo in 2002. In 2012 they founded the Quantum-Nano Centre at the University of Waterloo.
And in 2015 he donated US$20 million to form a technology-focused management institute named Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at the Wilfrid Laurier University.
In 2000 he established the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI).
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