RIM seems to have listen to the Open Letter that was published on BGR. RIM said it would consider splitting its Chief Executive and Chairman roles. That partnership has worked well for RIM. According to RIM, they ship 100 phones per minute. While very success overseas is great, in the United States RIM is perceived as “old school.” It’s the phone your father was forced to use for work. It at one time was the very definition of a smartphone. The times have since changed but RIM along with other one time innovation leaders seem to be stuck in a rut.
Why is RIM doing this change ahead of its annual shareholder meeting next month? Simple, RIM has been under a lot criticism from shareholders about Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis who both share CEO roles. Now keep in mind that RIM is only forming a committee to study the CEO and board roles. That means nothing might happen other than hope it’s enough to get the monkey of their backs for a little bit.
RIM and NEI Investments Announce Withdrawal of Shareholder Proposal; RIM Committee to Review Matter Raised by Proposal
Waterloo, ON –
Research In Motion Limited (“RIM”) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) and Northwest & Ethical Investments L.P. (“NEI Investments”) announced today that, following discussions between them, NEI Investments has decided to withdraw its proposal that was to be considered at the RIM Annual General Meeting. The proposal asked that RIM’s Board of Directors adopt a policy that divides the role of Chair and CEO, and that RIM have an independent Chair. The parties have agreed that RIM’s Board will establish a Committee of independent directors whose mandate will generally be to (i) study the appropriate balance between an independent lead director or chair with full and exclusive authority customarily held by such an office holder, (ii) determine the business necessity for RIM’s Co-CEOS to have significant Board level titles to assist their selling and other responsibilities with certain large customers in overseas markets, and (iii) propose and provide a rationale for a recommended governance structure for RIM, which will include clarifications of the Co-CEOs and Chair roles, as well as the Board’s mandate. The Committee will consult with NEI Investments in developing the specific terms of reference for this mandate and before it issues its report by January 31, 2012. The Board will publicly respond to the recommendations of the Committee within 30 days.
As a result, the proposal will no longer be presented at the Annual General Meeting and no vote will be taken on the proposal at the meeting. RIM and NEI Investments are pleased to have reached an agreement on this matter, and these important issues of corporate governance will receive further consideration at the RIM Board level.