BlackBerry maker Research in Motion often seems to have two left feet when it comes to management. Now, after becoming a serial failure, the company is considering removing its biggest roadblock: RIM’s co-CEOs. But can it quiet a months-long investor revolt?
According to the Financial Times, a panel considering ways to change RIM management is poised to replace co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis with an independent director to chair the board. A final decision is expected January 31, allowing 31 days for RIM’s leaders to react.
Although RIM won’t comment, Barbara Stymiest is seen as the frontrunner for the position. Both Balsillie and Lazaridis are seen as obstacles toward any change in RIM strategy. In 2011, RIM stumbled multiple times, costing it market share, consumer confidence and investor support. RIM today lowered the price of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to $299 in order to move mounting inventory. When unveiled, the company pronounced the “end of amateur hour,” targeting both Apple’s iPad and other rival tablets.
Developers looking forward to the early 2012 release of the BlackBerry 10 platform were disappointed by delays that put the iPhone and Android handsets firmly in charge of the smartphone market. Meanwhile, investors turned on RIM after the co-CEOS repeatedly offered over-optimistic revenue forecasts, resulting in declining share prices.
Ousting RIM’s co-CEOs from running the board could still be thwarted, according to the report, if the two reject directors’ decisions. However, the move would put the two co-CEOs firmly on record and setup their ouster as RIM leaders.