The man who was one of the more predominant faces of Research in Motion for many years, has stepped down from the board of directors as the BlackBerry maker struggles to find its way.

“It’s an end of an era, isn’t it?” said Tom Jenkins, the CEO of Open Text after learning Balsillie was no longer with the company.

RIM’s current CEO, Thorsten Heins who took over in January, reacted to the news during a conference call to investors late yesterday afternoon.

“I (would) like to take this opportunity to thank Jim for 20 years of service and leadership in the name of RIM and wish him well in the future.”

The move didn’t come as a surprise to Jeff Stacey, a founding partner of Stacey-Muirhead Capital Management.

“In my experience entrepreneurial people once they’ve given up the reign, they’re not comfortable staying in a Board of Director role, so I’m not surprised.”

Stacey adds we shouldn’t forget how instrumental Balsillie was for RIM.

“Despite what may have happened in the last year, both Jim and Mike were instrumental in driving this company a long way.”

The President and CEO of the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce, Ian McLean also reacted to the news by saying he’s excited to see what the future holds for Balsillie.

“He’s the kind of guy that no matter what he does he’s going to be successful, so I look forward to hearing what the next chapter in his life will look like.”

Jenkins shares that sentiment, saying he hopes to see Balsillie in another venture in the future.

“It’s certainly a sad day for Waterloo and for Canada.  Jim is one of the finest entrepreneurs we’ve ever produced.”