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RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie named Canadian Press Business Newsmaker of the Year

The co-CEO of BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion has been voted The Canadian Press Business Newsmaker of the Year.  Jim Balsillie failed to land the Phoenix Coyotes last year but the billionaire gained the admiration of many Canadians with his bid to bring an NHL franchise to Hamilton.

The co-CEO of BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion has been voted The Canadian Press Business Newsmaker of the Year.

While headlines in 2009 were gloomy with job losses and a crumbling economy, the executive became a poster boy for resilience as he faced off against his opponents in the highest ranks of the NHL, and stuck to his guns even as his dream to bring the Coyotes to Hamilton drifted away.

Off the ice, Balsillie proved that he could recover from repeated stumbles, both in his pursuit of a hockey team and at the highly successful BlackBerry maker, RIM.

The company had its own ups and downs during the year, adding 15 million new subscribers as it grew into the consumer smartphone market and expanded into China. But at the same time, it suffered two network crashes and came under intensifying competition from rivals such as Apple, Google and Palm.

Through it all, Balsillie brushed himself off and trudged ahead. While he hasn’t said whether he’ll take another run at an NHL bid, those who know him best say he’s likely not ready to give up on his dream of owning a hockey team.

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