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RIM given six months to prove worth of co-CEOs by investors

News by Dan Seifert on Wednesday July 13, 2011.

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RIM held its annual shareholders meeting yesterday evening, and unlike what some might have expected, the board was re-elected and co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have kept their jobs. However, the investment firm that first asked to have the CEOs split up has given RIM an ultimatum: they have six months to prove their worth or they are out.

Northwest & Ethical Investments LP had pushed for a review of the CEOs jobs and to have them split up and replaced. It even went as far as to try to get a vote on the matter during the shareholders meeting. Now, the investment firm is giving the company some space to prove that its dual leadership is worthwhile. "We wanted to give them a chance to prove that there is an actual business necessity," said Jennifer Coulson, Northwest's manager of corporate engagement.

If RIM does not prove that the CEOs are worthwhile within the six month timeframe, Northwest will reintroduce the motion to have them removed from their positions. In speaking to shareholders at the meeting, Lazaridis promised the company would get better, and said there are seven new BlackBerry smartphones coming to market soon, plus a 4G version of the PlayBook tablet. RIM's stock has fallen dramatically since the PlayBook was launched and received a lackluster response, so it had better have some serious tricks up its sleeve if it is going to turn everything around. [via Bloomberg]

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Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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