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RIM building

Well, this is interesting. After investors and an anonymous executive at RIM called for the BlackBerry manufacturer to remove Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie from their shared positions of co-CEO and co-chairman, it's been revealed that the company will consider splitting the roles up. Originally the matter was to be voted on by a group of RIM investors at a meeting next month. RIM said it plans to put together a group of independent directors to examine the roles of CEO and chairman and that the committee will then decide how to best fill those positions. The group will need to submit its report by January 31st, 2012, at which point RIM's board will have 30 days to respond to the findings.

This decision comes as a bit of a surprise because up until now, RIM has been fairly confident (at least in public) of its executives and their plan to help regain some of the company's former glory. It's not really clear what made RIM finally decide to consider a shakeup of its CEO/chairman positions, but it's probably a good idea for it to "voluntarily" look over the situation rather than have its own investors take things into their own hands. Anyone think that Lazaridis and Balsillie will be ousted from their positions as co-CEO/co-chairman?

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. 


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