Feeds

Top RIM jobs were too powerful and had to go - inquiry

BlackBerry biz shakeup demanded by independent review

Boost IT visibility and business value

Research in Motion (RIM) has handed out a largely moot independent report revealing that it shouldn't have had its CEOs as chairmen of the board.

The six-page dossier [PDF] was published on the BlackBerry maker's website late on Monday - a week after the Canadian biz lost its long-term co-CEOs-and-chairmen Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie.

Both men remain on the board, but they were replaced with Thorsten Heins, former chief operating officer, as president and CEO, and Barbara Stymiest, board member since 2007, as chair of the board.

Back in April last year, RIM shareholder Northwest & Ethical Investments, called for the company to split the roles of chair and CEO and threatened to bring the issue to a shareholder vote. Many investors and critics of the firm had argued that Balsillie and Lazaridis held too much power in RIM.

In response, RIM formed an independent governance review committee in June to explore whether or not it should divorce the roles and examine its management structure. The panel came to the conclusion that RIM should separate the roles, although it stated that it was "comfortable our lead director has performed the appropriate governance functions of that position up to the present".

"The committee believes that appointing an independent chair is the appropriate solution for RIM shareholders and will resolve the issue for RIM and its employees and business partners," the report said.

The file also makes a point of saying that RIM's corporate structure was accepted practice in the US, where the majority of the largest 100 public companies didn't split the roles of chairman and CEO and didn't have independent chairmen. However, in Canada, where the firm is headquartered, it's typical to have an independent chairman.

Shareholder dissatisfaction has been rife at the firm in the last four years as stocks dropped from a height of $144.56 on the NASDAQ in June 2008 to around $17 today.

RIM has struggled to compete with new entrants to the smartphone sector it once dominated, where Apple and Android phones have overtaken BlackBerrys in popularity.

The biz hasn't had much luck in the tablet sector either, where its PlayBook has had a dismal reception that has left the company with backlogs of stock. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.