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RIM Investors Want Corporate Shake-up or Sale

By - Source: Reuters | B 8 comments

Investors aren't too happy with RIM's response to Apple and Google's continued market share gain, and want a change in management or an outright sale of the company.

Research In Motion shareholder Jaguar Financial Corp claims that holders of at least 8-percent of RIM's stock are backing its campaign for a corporate "shake-up" or an outright sale of the struggling BlackBerry company. Jaguar Financial warned that the percentage could continue to rise as it pursues talks with shareholders about forcing RIM's board and management into dialog over the current situation. Around 20 have been contacted so far, a small portion compared to the more than 1,000 investment managers listed by Thomson One as stockholders.

There's no question that RIM has taken a beating over the last two years as the popularity over Apple's iPhone and Google's Android OS has overtaken RIM's own BlackBerry lineup. The Canadian company even launched its own tablet over the summer to a lackluster reception, causing rumors that RIM has slowed down production due to poor retail sales. With the iPhone 4S just released and Google's Ice Cream Sandwich on the way, RIM's popularity and market share are seemingly dwindling away.

Naturally stockholders want a solution that will secure their investment, a solution that could mean a shift in RIM's top managemernt. Jaguar Chief Executive Vic Alboini said on Tuesday that RIM leaders have lost their way in competing with the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Google. Jaguar actually wants RIM to hire a new chief executive to replace current co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie.

"It is time for RIM to bring in a transformational leader and a respected independent chairman," Alboini told Reuters.

Jaguar has also talked with shareholders about the sale of RIM if a change in management is not ideal or possible. "Everybody is in support of a sale of RIM or another value creative transaction ... like splitting the company into separate public companies - a network company, a device company and a patents company," he said.

Jaguar is a Canadian merchant bank that targets underperforming companies. It began to accumulate additional shares of RIM once the stock price began to plunge earlier this year. Alboini declined to say how many shares Jaguar now controls.

Reuters reports that Lazaridis and Balsillie hold more than 10-percent of the stock, and share a role as chairman of the board. The two are reportedly under prerssure by the board thanks to a series of profit warnings and the company's slow reposnse to the rapid changes in the mobile market. RIM is also transitioning to a new software system for operating its BlackBerry lineup while losing its share in the corporate email market in the process.

Shares of RIM rose more than 4 percent after Jaguar announced its plan to push for corporate changes.

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  • 1 Hide
    otacon72 , October 12, 2011 2:28 AM
    Lazaridis and Balsillie need to go. They've run the company into the ground. I've been with RIM for many many years and will continue to be with them but they need to turn it around in a hurry. The PlayBook could've been a great device but they totally missed the price point and released basically a beta device. New management is needed asap. I don't blame the investors for being pissed.
  • 0 Hide
    ern88 , October 12, 2011 2:38 AM
    RIM is just behind the times!!! They just can't keep up with the competition!!!!
  • 4 Hide
    eddieroolz , October 12, 2011 2:46 AM
    A shakeup will be nice, but RIM is still doing good. Stock prices don't always mean everything - look at Microsoft's stock price; it hasn't changed much over the last 10 years and yet they're still one of the most successful companies out there yet.
  • Display all 8 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , October 12, 2011 3:54 AM
    So, uh... where's QNX?

    And more importantly... where's my ability to run Android apps on that BlackBerry? You give me that, and I'll take one. (Though there better be some decent hardware under the hood anyways.)
  • 0 Hide
    feeddagoat , October 12, 2011 11:34 AM
    TBH they need a change. While the playbook didn't do well its the only tablet I've considered due to bridge. If android had a bridge feature option I'd be sold on the transformer or, if it ever comes, the memo. Yet due to their phones being poor that's why I've not got or will ever get it. For me it really comes down to lack of features on phones, no HDMI out, no front facing cam, no dual core, poor market compared to comp (they even miss some swapables I'm looking for). The hardware keyboard, BBM (few friends overseas with BB's) and lower data useage (from what I've noticed) isn't enough to save it.

    BB useage here is still on the up, its very popular among kids (mainly curve devices) and quite a few people have moved from iphones to it. Here nokia (smart phone only), windows devices are non exsistant. I haven't seen a single user in well over 2 years. Android is increasing in popularity but no where near the level of BB or iphone. I'm always surprised to hear how unpopular BB is.
  • 0 Hide
    jgutz2006 , October 12, 2011 3:39 PM
    why not open it up, Blackberry is very popular in corporate america and many people also love their qwerty keyboards. How about a Hardware company and a Software company. Build the phones with Android options and then sell the OS to companies like HTC or whoever would be interested to build your user/customer base. More phone options is never a bad thing unless theyre running windows phone 7!
  • 0 Hide
    elmo2006 , October 12, 2011 4:42 PM
    Quote:
    Jaguar has also talked with shareholders about the sale of RIM if a change in management is not ideal or possible.....It began to accumulate additional shares of RIM once the stock price began to plunge earlier this year. Alboini declined to say how many shares Jaguar now controls.


    Really, whose interest is Jaguar really looking after...???
  • 0 Hide
    DaveUK , October 12, 2011 6:53 PM
    As a long-standing Blackberry advocate (I've used them for many years for personal and business use, and run my own telecoms company after working for a UK mobile operator) even I am beginning to get disappointed in Blackberry.

    I upgraded to the Bold 9900 this week to find that there is no recognised-brand Sat Nav solution available for the OS!! Even most network operator's own Sat Nav offerings have not been updated for the new OS.

    This, for me, really sums up the whole situation for Blackberry right now. I sell to businesses every day, and even the least technically-savvy users are expecting additional applications on their 'smart' phones.

    This is a high-end business phone, and there isn't even a comprehensive Sat Nav solution? Nokia have navigation software, as do Google, and of course you can get CoPilot etc easily for iPhone.

    I'm a businessman, your core market - I really don't give a sh*t about Facebook and Blackberry Messenger. I want to get to my clients on time.

    Sort it out RIM.
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