RIM bosses granted six-month reprieve

RIM has six months to prove a real business need for its Co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to retain their roles as Co-Chairmen of the Board, otherwise Northwest & Ethical Investments LP will take action. “We wanted to give them a chance to prove that there is an actual business necessity,” Jennifer Coulson, manager of corporate engagement at Northwest & Ethical, told Bloomberg at Tuesday’s RIM shareholder meeting. NEI threatened last month to file a motion to have RIM’s Co-CEOs removed from their roles has Board heads, but the the firm agreed not to proceed with its motion when RIM said it would assemble a committee of independent directors to investigate the matter and make recommendations. Proxy advisor Glass Lewis & Co. would later accuse RIM of using stall tactics to delay the decision, but NEI appears content with the actions RIM is taking, so says its decision to give RIM six months to plead its case. Thus far, RIM’s only real argument in favor of allowing Lazaridis and Balsillie to keep their joint roles has been that their Chairmen titles help the pair generate business overseas. Shares of RIM stock have declined in value by nearly 60% over the past 12 months.

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