Surprising Shakeup at BlackBerry Maker Over Options
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. said this morning that chairman Jim Balsillie has agreed to relinquish that title, but will remain as co-chief executive officer, as it moves to improve governance in light of its review of stock options grants.
The company also said Dennis Kavelman will no longer serve as chief financial officer, instead moving to the position of chief operating officer, as the company begins to restate its financials since 2004, as a result of the stock options grants. The restatements up to the end of fiscal-year 2006 will cut about $250 million from previously reported earnings.
In addition, board members Kendall Cork and Doug Wright, who previously made up RIM's compensation committee, will not stand for re-election as directors and resigned, effective immediately, from all of the board's committees.
The company said any directors or officers who benefitted from the inflated stock options will return any financial gains. Balsillie and his co-chief executive, Mike Lazaridis, will pay up to $8.5 million dollars to the company to cover the costs of the investigation.
Despite the shakeup, Research in Motion maintained that its review did not find intentional misconduct by anyone at the company.