Jim Balsillie, who recently resigned as co-chief of Research In Motion, tried to convince executives that the BlackBerry maker needed a significant shift in strategy to succeed.
The former co-chief executive of RIM wanted to allow "major wireless companies in North America and Europe" to provide service for non-BlackBerry devices that was routed through RIM's network, according to a Reuters report on Friday.
However, the plan — which would have allowed operators to offer data-only services limited to select social media and instant messaging services, including BlackBerry Messaging (BBM) to customers — "led to discord at the highest levels" within the company, according to the report which cited two individuals "with knowledge of" Balsillie's plans as the source of the information.
For operators, the decision would likely have been attractive as it was designed to encourage non-smartphone users to upgrade to smartphones, which would drive further data use. It would also likely have reduced the amount of data being passed across operators' networks as RIM compresses the data on its own servers.
The deal would also have provided an extra revenue stream for the company and reduced its need to focus on the hardware business and instead gain from the strengths of its software and management services.
Nevertheless, the plans were reportedly nixed by RIM's new chief executive Thorsten Heins, with the backing of the board and second former co-chief Mike Lazaridis, in favour of focusing on the launch of BlackBerry 10.
Balsillie resigned from the role of co-chief in January 2012 but retained his position on the board of directors. In March, a little over two months after the appointment of Heins as chief executive, Balsillie also stepped down from the board.