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Leaks: RIM co-CEOs too controlling of board

updated 01:05 am EST, Tue December 27, 2011

Balsillie and Lazaridis said shutting out input

RIM's current struggles may have been spurred on by excessive co-CEO control of the board of directors. New insights from the Wall Street Journal suggest that the two CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, actively prevent other executives from learning what goes on in board meetings or otherwise influencing the final outcome. Balsillie reportedly has a "forceful presence" in meetings that dictates the agenda, while Lazaridis mostly presents device plans.

RIM's claimed deference to independent directors on the board rings hollow, the tipsters hinted. Main independent director John Richardson typically cedes to Balsillie and is characterized as a figurehead.

The company hasn't specifically responded to the assertions other than to note that seven of nine directors are independent and that Richardson is a "strong" source, sidestepping the more direct concerns.

Such comments hint that the independent panel that will be advising governance changes might not have a chance at making the deepest possible recommendations of changes to the core board or to the CEOs and, as a consequence, might not disrupt the existing model. Balsillie and Lazaridis have lately cast themselves as uniquely qualified to lead the company, arguing that only they can lead the transition to BlackBerry 10 and that the dynamic of two CEOs, which is virtually unheard of elsewhere, can help the company.

Much of 2011 for RIM has been defined by a mismatch between company expectations and reality. It consistently gave financial guidance this year that it didn't meet. Expectations for BlackBerry PlayBook shipments are also known to have been too high and saw it continually lowering the numbers, cutting prices, and clearing unsold stock even into the fall, where the PlayBook now has a near-permanent 60 percent price cut.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008


    these two clowns

    are going to toast their company. They're still acting like it's the "old" days.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    The blind leading the blond

    Or the blond leading the blind.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    So those two scumbags continue to run the company into the ground. What else is new?

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    explains a lot

    just about any other company would have canned these clowns a year ago. Now they are stuck with them; if they left, RIM would need time to find its new direction and they don't have that time.

  1. ntflavio06

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2007


    Bafoon or what

    Well he may be a CEO or he may be a bald headed bafoon for making idiotic decisions. Or maybe he secretly wants to make RIM into a hockey team. Go Waterloo go. Youhoooooo.

  1. TomMcIn

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2001


    Jock Complex

    The one CEO spent an idiotic amount of time trying to get a crumbling NHL hockey team into Hamilton. Given the inability of RIM to compete in the current market, the team and RIM would have gone down together. At least now, only RIM is doomed.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    RIM board memo

    "We've taken steps to solve the Jim and Mike problem. Permanently. We've hired an outside contractor. He's going to make it look like an accident."

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