Concerned investors and board members alike may be pushing to shake-up Research in Motion's existing leadership. More specifically, the roles co-CEOs and co-chairmen, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, may be combined into a single head position independent of the company's board of directors. It is expected that Barbara Stymiest, former CEO of TMX and the Royal Bank of Canada, would serve as the new head. Stymiest is also currently a board member.
A report will be issued by January 31 detailing recommendations to the board for possible company governance changes. Both co-CEOs are also members of the board so they will have their own input to include as well, however, it is clear that at least a change of direction may be necessary to keep RIM from fading away into the oblivion.
It seems as though every other week we have bad news to deliver about RIM. As a result, this may not be a surprise for some. Here's a brief chronicling of the bad news RIM suffered in 2011:
- Playbook launched to very unfavorable reviews and didn't even include BB mail or messenger
- Blackberry's global market share slipped all year long
- RIM bled revenue for the entire year, leading to layoffs and a steady decline in value
- RIM suffered multiple network outages and subsequent lawsuits
- Despite repeated Playbook price cuts, RIM was forced to write off $490 million in unsold units
- A RIM executive was charged with inflicting bodily injuries during an uruly BB event in Indonesia
- Multiple trademark disputes have kept RIM busy: BBX (new OS) and BBM (Messenger)
- After repeated delays, RIM's new BB products won't be released until late 2012
- Several potential suitors flirted with buying RIM but the company refused
- Insiders claim Blackberry 10, possibly RIM's salvation, appears to be a train wreck