Life and Times of Balsillie

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

CHILDHOOD

- Born Feb. 3, 1961, in Seaforth.

- Moved to Peterborough at age five.

- Employment: Newspaper routes, door-to-door greeting card sales, summer camp counselor, student painting business, trailer park maintenance.

- Played hockey, golf.

STUDENT

- Attended University of Toronto (Trinity College) on scholarship. Studied commerce and graduated in 1984. Is a chartered accountant.

- Graduated in 1989 with MBA from Harvard business school in 1987. Later earned Ph.D. from Wilfrid Laurier. Holds several honourary doctorate degrees.

EMPLOYMENT

- Fresh out of U of T, hired by Entrepreneur Services Group at Clarkson Gordon in 1984 and remained there until 1987.

- Upon completion of his MBA at Harvard in 1989, Balsillie joined Sutherland-Schultz in Kitchener where he was v-p finance, executive v-p and finally chief financial officer until company was sold in 1992.

- Teamed up with Mike Lazaridis, founder of Research in Motion, in 1992, taking the lead in driving corporate strategy, business development, marketing, sales and finance.

- Today Balsillie is the co-CEO and director at RIM. He stepped down as chairman in 2007.

HOCKEY INTERESTS

- October 2006: Balsillie makes bid to purchase Pittsburgh Penguins for $185 million US. In December of that year, Balsillie withdraws his bid.

- May 2007: Balsillie reaches tentative agreement to purchase Nashville Predators from Craig Leipold with the intention of moving the team to Hamilton. Leipold backs away from the deal.

- May 2009: Balsillie offers $212.5 million to purchase Phoenix Coyotes after the team filed for bankruptcy protection.

PERSONAL

- According to Forbes.com, Balsillie has a net worth of $3.4 billion. That puts him at No. 9 on the list of richest Canadians.

- Founded Centre for International Governance and Innovation at a personal cost of $35 million.

- Married (Heidi) with two children

- Remains active in recreational hockey


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