updated 05:15 pm EDT, Thu June 30, 2011
RIM has shareholder proposal against CEOs dropped
RIM took a second measure to minimize opposition on Thursday after it had Northwest & Ethical drop its demand the chairman and CEO roles split. In the wake of talks, the investor group chose to withdraw a proposal that it was to put forward at the company's general meeting on July 12. The company's board of directors would in return develop a committee of independent directors to find an "appropriate balance" between board leaders and the CEO role, whether it was necessary for the co-CEOs to occupy top spots on the board to run the company, and suggest a structure that might better run the company.
Among the possibilities for the structure could include more clearly defining the reals of each as well as determining what the mandate might be.
The proposal shift wouldn't eliminate other complaints, although it would remove one of the few direct challenges to RIM's management at the Waterloo, Ontario-based meeting. Multiple investor groups had been increasingly vocal that CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, as guaranteed board directors, never had to face significant challenges to their authority.
Creating the committee addresses at least some of the core complaints but won't necessarily lead to the CEOs resigning either their board or executive positions. Both have been adamant about staying and have gone so far as to assert that only they could help guide RIM's transition of the BlackBerry from its old platform through to the fully modern QNX-based roots of the PlayBook.