RIM to Possibly Select New Chairman


Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), the provider of the BlackBerry smartphone recently had a report leak that claimed the company may name an independent chairman to appease investors wanting to see a leadership change. This move would reportedly relieve the company’s current Co-Chief Executives, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie of their positions on the company’s board of directors.

The shareholder pressure is due in large part to a rough 2011 for RIM, in which the smartphone and tablet maker dealt with a decline in market share as market earnings came in well below expectations. On top of that, the company saw shrinking stock prices, multiple product delays, employee layoffs, and service outages. Additionally, the company apparently lost $485 million on unsold PlayBook tablet inventory, causing shareholders to become concerned about the stability of the company..

Former Royal Bank of Canada Chief Operating Officer, Barbara Stymiest, a RIM Director, may become the leading candidate for the job, the National Post reported today, citing unidentified sources familiar with the situation.

Currently, a committee of independent directors is reviewing the company’s leadership structure and the panel will report findings by the end of January. RIM spokeswoman Marisa Conway said in an email today that there is a strict deadline. “The RIM’s board will then respond publicly to any recommendations,” she said in a statement, declining to address any other details.

Northwest & Ethical, which was promised a role in studying leadership changes in exchange for withdrawing a proposal to split the chairman and CEO roles in June, had “yet to have any substantial discussions about the review as of late November” added Robert Walker, Northwest’s vice president of Ethical Funds.

If RIM fails to complete the leadership report by the Jan. 31 deadline, Northwest will again push for an investor vote on splitting the roles said Walker.

Regardless of what happens, it’s clear that RIM is facing major changes in 2012 and is hoping to rebound for their 2011 losses. They are also set to release their new BlackBerry 10 operating system, which has been under development for months.

The new operating system will also power a line of BlackBerry smartphones that will favor touch over full physical keyboards and enable users to run Android apps alongside native QNX and BlackBerry 10 apps. The new operating system, which was supposed to launch early this year has been delayed.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

Contributing Writer

Related Articles

Coding and Invention Made Fun

By: Special Guest    10/12/2018

SAM is a series of kits that integrates hardware and software with the Internet. Combining wireless building blocks composed of sensors and actors con…

Read More

Facebook Marketplace Now Leverages AI

By: Paula Bernier    10/3/2018

Artificial intelligence is changing the way businesses interact with customers. Facebook's announcement this week is just another example of how this …

Read More

Oct. 17 Webinar to Address Apache Spark Benefits, Tools

By: Paula Bernier    10/2/2018

In the upcoming webinar "Apache Spark: The New Enterprise Backbone for ETL, Batch and Real-time Streaming," industry experts will offer details on clo…

Read More

It's Black and White: Cybercriminals Are Spending 10x More Than Enterprises to Control, Disrupt and Steal

By: Cynthia S. Artin    9/26/2018

In a stunning new report by Carbon Black, "Hacking, Escalating Attacks and The Role of Threat Hunting" the company revealed that 92% of UK companies s…

Read More

6 Challenges of 5G, and the 9 Pillars of Assurance Strategy

By: Special Guest    9/17/2018

To make 5G possible, everything will change. The 5G network will involve new antennas and chipsets, new architectures, new KPIs, new vendors, cloud di…

Read More