Richest BusinessExecutives
Net Worth:
$600 Million
Mar 14, 1961 (63 years old)
Istanbul, Turkey
Founder & Managing Partner, Quantum Valley InvestmentsFounder, BlackBerry Limited
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What is Mike Lazaridis' net worth?

Mike Lazaridis is a Greek-Canadian businessman and entrepreneur who has a net worth of $600 million. Mike Lazaridis earned his fortune as the co-founder of BlackBerry, which was formerly known as Research In Motion. At the peak of BlackBerry's success in 2008, Mike Lazaridis' net worth was $4 billion. At that point the company's market cap was $85 billion. Unfortunately, much of the value of BlackBerry was destroyed over the ensuing years thanks largely to the introduction of the iPhone.

Mike Lazaridis was the Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of BlackBerry from 1984 to 2012. He was the Chair of the Innovation Committee from 2012 to 2013. He co-founded Quantum Valley Investments in 2013 with BlackBerry co-founder Douglas Fregin. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada. He has also received an Academy Award and an Emmy Award for his technical achievements.

Early Life and Education

Mihal "Mike" Lazaridis was born on March 14, 1961, in Istanbul, Turkey, to Greek parents. Fleeing political instability, his family moved to Canada when he was just five years old. Settling in Windsor, Ontario, young Lazaridis found himself drawn to science and technology. His fascination for the field was evident even in his early years; at the age of 12, he won a prize for reading every science book in the Windsor Public Library.

He attended the University of Waterloo in Ontario, pursuing electrical engineering. However, his entrepreneurial spirit was irrepressible. In 1984, before completing his degree, Lazaridis, along with his childhood friend Doug Fregin, founded Research In Motion (RIM) with an initial investment of $15,000 from childhood savings.


Research In Motion (RIM)

RIM initially operated as a consulting business focused on electronics and computer science. However, with a government contract to develop a network gateway, later known as Mobitex, the company pivoted towards wireless technology, setting the stage for its future successes.

RIM's defining moment came in 1999 with the launch of the BlackBerry 850, the world's first wireless handheld device. It revolutionized the way business was conducted, offering on-the-go email access and setting the stage for the smartphone era. As the co-CEO, Lazaridis helped RIM become a global leader in wireless innovation, reaching a peak in 2010 when BlackBerry boasted over 50 million users worldwide.

Philanthropic Initiatives and Quantum Research

In addition to his business pursuits, Lazaridis is also known for his philanthropic initiatives and passion for scientific research. In 2000, he donated $100 million to the University of Waterloo, leading to the creation of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. His objective was to foster scientific research and innovation in Canada and, in the long run, the world. He has since continued to contribute generously to the institute, investing in research and education in quantum physics and quantum computing.

Later, in 2012, Lazaridis co-founded Quantum Valley Investments with Doug Fregin, a $100 million fund to provide financial and intellectual capital for the development and commercialization of quantum technologies.

Major Life Milestones

  • Born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1961
  • Family moves to Canada when he is five years old
  • Attends the University of Waterloo, where he studies electrical engineering and computer science
  • Graduates with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in 1984
  • Co-founds BlackBerry with Douglas Fregin in 1984
  • Serves as co-CEO of BlackBerry from 1984 to 2012
  • Founds the Quantum Valley Investments, a venture capital firm that invests in quantum computing technologies, in 2000
  • Founds the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, a world-renowned research institute, in 1999
  • Awarded the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honor in Canada, in 2005
  • Donates millions of dollars to various causes, including the University of Waterloo, the Perimeter Institute, and the United Way
  • Continues to be a successful businessman, investor, and philanthropist
All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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