Research In Motion on Monday announced that Co-CEO Jim Balsillie will take over the role of Chief Marketing Officer following the recent departure of CMO Keith Pardy. Balsillie will remain Co-CEO alongside Mike Lazaridis as well, and both chiefs will also be co-chairmen of RIM. RIM’s former marketing chief, Keith Pardy, left the company for personal reasons back in March, just over one month ahead of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook launch. More →
Dual-core processor-packing smartphones are a hot-ticket item at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and it looks like RIM must have felt a little left out. While the Canadian phone maker didn’t have any dual-core BlackBerry phones on display at the show, RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis did confirm in an interview that a more powerful breed of Berry is in the company’s plans. Unfortunately for speed-hungry BlackBerry users, it looks like it might not happen any time soon. Lazaridis told PC Magazine that future “super-phones” will indeed have to have dual-core processors, but he noted that the current crop of dual-core CPUs are just too hard on the battery to make their way into BlackBerry phones — and we all know how much RIM loves its battery life. Hit the read link for a great little interview by Sascha Segan over on the PC Magazine website. More →
Yesterday, Nokia released a statement about antenna design in response to being called out by name in Apple’s iPhone 4 antenna press conference. Early this morning, RIM followed suit. In a statement signed by co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, RIM gave Apple a quick and concise corporate tongue lashing:
Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple’s claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public’s understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple’s difficult situation. RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage. One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity. Apple clearly made certain design decisions and it should take responsibility for these decisions rather than trying to draw RIM and others into a situation that relates specifically to Apple.
That ladies and gentlemen is how not to mince words. It is only fair. If you want to pitch, you have to catch. Right Apple?
We really love the boys and girls over at RIM, but if you haven’t already noticed, they’re pretty much stuck in 1998. Why do we say that? Well, RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis (who is absolutely brilliant) started spewing off his nonsense on data conservation at MWC and how “manufacturers had better start building more efficient applications and more efficient services. There is no real way to get around this.” Oh, but there is, Mike. It’s called actually having a wireless data network that can handle the things consumers and businesses want to do on their phones, and it’s called planning. More →
Remember when we told you that the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) was looking to fine RIM co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie up to $100 million CDN ($81.1 million USD) for their role in stock option backdating that went on from 1996 to 2006? Well, the gauntlet of justice has just smacked the co-CEOs in the head to tune of $77 million CDN ($62.5 million USD). 88% of the $77 million is to be paid back to RIM itself and the rest of the money to be handed over to the OSC itself. What’s more is that Balsillie will step down from the Board of Directors for one year but will be permitted to stay on as co-CEO. It’s rather strange that the OSC would ask Balsillie to step down from the Board but permit him to stay on as co-CEO – we suppose it goes to show that the OSC understands how integral Balsillie is to the health of the company. Apparently he also managed to convince the OSC that he learned his lesson and won’t be committing any more white collar shenanigans. So what does Balsillie have to say about this whole matter? “We’re very pleased to put this behind us.” No doubt.
Regulators could possibly fine RIM co-CEOs up to $100 million CDN for role in decade old stock controversy
Um, wow. Just wow. Remember how Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, the co-CEOs of RIM, got in trouble all the way back in 2006 after being busted for stock options backdating? They had apparently been doing it since 1996 and it eventually led to Balsille steping down as Chairman. The Ontario Securities Commission apparently remembers the incident well, and boy does it ever seem like it’s out for blood now. A report today from Canada’s The Globe and Mail said that the OSC is seeking up to a $100 million CDN ($79.48 million USD) fine for the co-CEOs. Apparently Balsillie is the one that should be the most worried as he’s facing the bulk of the fine, but the OSC is also alleged to be pushing for him to step down from his role on the board of directors for an unspecified period of time. Lazaridis, who is of course the big brains behind the famous BlackBerry devices the company makes, would likely only have to pay a small portion of the fine. During the investigation into the matter, both Balsillie and Lazardis paid approximately $7.5 million CDN for legal costs so that RIM itself would not be financially burdened for their wrongdoings. By now you’re probably wondering, “Wow! How much did they make through backdating options?” About $2 million CDN each. [Insert crime doesn't pay remark here]