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RIM Co-CEOs to Step Down as Co-Chairs?

by Sean P. Aune | January 3, 2012January 3, 2012 9:30 am PDT

Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie

It seems that Research In Motion (RIM) may finally be taking a hard look at its options in the new year as it tries to change its way that lead to a disastrous 2011 for the company.

According to the Financial Post, the shareholders who have been trying to get some changes made at the beleaguered RIM may finally be making some progress.  Co-CEOs and chairmen of the board Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie agreed last July to an independent review of how the board is structured, and sources are saying that the report indicates that it would be better to have an independent chairmen of the board rather than allowing the co-CEOs to continue to serve in that roll.  Currently, Barbara Stymiest, who is involved in the review board, is believed to be the front-runner to assume the seat.

The report is expected to be delivered to the board on January 31, and then the board of nine – including Lazaridis and Balsillie – will have 30 days to respond to the recommendations it makes.

While the report could lead to multiple outcomes, the sources say that the 55-year-old Stymiest, who was formerly the head of TSX Group Inc. and chief operating officer at Royal Bank of Canada, is likely in line to become the first independent chairmen of the board in the company’s history.  The CEO being the chairmen of the board is the norm in the United States, but in Canada and other locales it is not always a given, so Ms. Stymiest stepping into this role would be all that odd.

Shares of RIM lost around 75 percent of their value in 2011, and with market share of its operating system continuing to fall, the company is in need of a massive shakeup.  If this is the solution remains to be seen.

Do you think this is the right step for RIM to be taking?

[via Financial Post]

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...