Embattled smartphone manufacturer Research in Motion may oust co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie as co-chairmen of the board by the end of the month, though may not necessarily strip them of their role as chief executive according to the Financial Post.
RIM had a particularly difficult year in 2011 as the company faced lackluster Playbook sales, a lengthy widespread network outage, and an embarrassing public relations fiasco of two executives getting drunk on a flight. RIM’s share price plunged from $59.88 in January 2011 to $14.80 by year’s end.
According to the Financial Post, Barbara Stymiest, former CEO of the Toronto Stock Exchange and an independent director who joined RIM’s board in 2007, is believed to be the leading candidate to become chairwoman.
Ms. Stymiest, and a committee of seven members of RIM’s board, have been examining the company’s board structure and are preparing a report, which is expected by the end of the month. According to the Financial Post, and sources familiar with the matter, this report will likely include a recommendation to strip Messer Lazaridis and Balsillie of their position as co-chair of the board.
The duo has previously resisted attempts to strip them of their role as co-chair. RIM’s cofounders own 12 per cent of the company’s shares, in a company where no one owns more than 10 per cent of the stock, giving them a large voting block to leverage.
News of the potential shuffle caused the company’s share price to rise 5.88 percent to $15.67.