RIM Co-Chairman Shake-up Coming This Month

BlackBerry could be starting the new year with a change in its leadership as the company is planning to replace its co-chairmen by the end of the month, according to a report Tuesday in the Financial Post.

Citing unnamed sources, the Post suggests that RIM will succumb to shareholder pressure and remove co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie from their chairmen status. Barbara Stymiest, an independent director who has served on RIM's board since 2007, is slated to become the Canadian company's first independent chair.

RIM's governance structure has been under review since last July by a committee of seven independent directors, including Stymiest. The committee is scheduled to reveal its recommendation by Jan. 31, at which time the full board, including Lazaridis and Balsillie, will have 30 days to respond.

Why this matters
Calls for a shake-up at the top of RIM have been growing louder for a while now, but at least two people -- Lazaridis and Balsillie -- haven't supported the change. They exuded optimism on the company's third-quarter earnings call last month, cut their salaries to $1 and promised to step up brand marketing this year. But, after another quarter in which its market share, revenues and shares continued to slip, the company's shareholders appear ready for a fresh start. (See RIM Reports 27% Quarterly Profit Dive.)

Lazaridis and Balsillie combined own 12 percent of RIM, making them hard to oust completely, but this move would give them less control. It would also give Stymiest the challenge of maintaining momentum until RIM's QNX-based "super-phones" are ready in the second half of the year, as well as building up RIM's status in tablets, following Tuesday's price cuts and weak sales of only 850,000 so far. (See RIM Blames Chipsets for BlackBerry 10 Delay.)

For more
2011 wasn't kind to RIM. Read up on the company's many woes below. — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:46:49 PM
re: RIM Co-Chairman Shake-up Coming This Month

They feel like HP. 

You know there's some great talent there, some innovative products, etc. but something -- who knows what? -- seems to be getting in the way. 

It could be management. It could be that they're getting a raw deal from the consumer press, which seems to openly favor Apple and Samsung.

I think a change at the top might help them out. Or at least remind us all what they think they're good at.


shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:46:48 PM
re: RIM Co-Chairman Shake-up Coming This Month

Seven -- It sounds like Rex Ryan is running RIM.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:46:48 PM
re: RIM Co-Chairman Shake-up Coming This Month


Just a thought....

RIM specialized in Business Mobile.  Blackberry Enterprise Manager and other similar technologies.  Doesn't the BYOD thing basically make this OBE - except in special applications?   I think the problem is that they have been blindsided ty a complete market shift and have no effective response.  They build fine products but are being swept away on a tide of iOS and Android.

A management change would not hurt but basically they are going to be at BEST number 3 (and that makes an assumption that Nokia/Microsoft steps on its dauber).  So, how do they make money as the number 3 player in the market?  It is not impossible just hard. My guess (and this is a suspicion) that the management team keeps working from a position of "We are number 1 in the market".  It makes it hard to adjust strategies until you get real with your business.



DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:46:47 PM
re: RIM Co-Chairman Shake-up Coming This Month

Good analysis. I do think they're still posturing as though they're the market leader. That probably causes some confusion with the device strategy, which may be why a nice device like the PlayBook, which is not a hit with consumers, wasn't positioned to build on RIM's strengths.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:46:47 PM
re: RIM Co-Chairman Shake-up Coming This Month

Thank goodness I am a Giants fan.





ShamrockBoston 12/5/2012 | 5:46:45 PM
re: RIM Co-Chairman Shake-up Coming This Month

seven - 

as you might assume by my handle, i am a pats fan - and if the co-chairs are changed, perhaps so too would your avatar? €€:)

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:46:43 PM
re: RIM Co-Chairman Shake-up Coming This Month

If it did, it would be to Bucky Dent....




PS...To make you happy...


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