RIM splits leadership structure as shake up continues
A review of RIM’s leadership structure has concluded that no chief executive or other employee can be chairperson of the BlackBerry maker in future.
The report recommended splitting the roles of chairman and chief executive officer, which were until recently jointly held by Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis.
After a wave of shareholder unrest over the way RIM was being run sparked a review of the boardroom practises, the company appointed Barbara Stymiest as chair and Thorsten Heins as CEO, replacing Balsillie and Lazaridis.
Although the recommendations were widely expected, the report highlighted a difference between the way US and Canadian companies are run, which the committee said led to confusion between the company and shareholders.
“During the course of fulfilling its mandate, the committee confronted a major schism between current practice in its home market of Canada and the United States market, a much larger market for RIM’s products and an important market for the trading of its shares,” the report found.
“On the one hand, Canadian organisations and various Canadian shareholders strongly prefer, that RIM appoint an independent chair. On the other hand, the majority of the largest 100 US public companies do not split the roles of chair and CEO and do not have independent chairs.”