After a tumultuous and unforgiving 2011, Research in Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry line of smartphones, is looking to make some changes in the new year. Co-Chairmen Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie may be forced to stepped down from the board of the company they founded in 1984, according to a report from Financial Post

The Post reported earlier today that a "committee of seven independent directors of RIM’s board" have been looking at the company's board to find ways it could be improved. One change that may reflect some good, according to the board, would be to have a single independent chairman rather than two who also run the company. The committee will deliver its report on January 31. RIM will have 30 days to respond. 

RIM board member Barbara Stymiest is currently the front-runner for the Chairman gig if it is decided that Lazaridis and Balsillie should step down. The two co-founders would continue in their roles as CEO of the Waterloo, Ont.-based company. This is all a result of an agreement the company came to this past summer that would look into splitting up the co-CEO and co-Chairman roles. 

This shake up should come as no surprise to those who followed RIM over the past year. In 2011, RIM saw its share value drop 75% while it had to go through its largest round of lay-offs. It launched a number of products that were met with a lukewarm reception, the most famous of which was the PlayBlook tablet which was a commercial dud. 

[Financial Post via BGR]