Calls for RIM co-CEOs to step down

30 May 2011

There have been fresh calls for the co-CEOs of Research in Motion Mike Lazardis and Jim Balsillie – to step down. Investors claim they are out of step, out of time and are failing to come up with a credible response to Apple’s iPhone.

An analyst at a top 30 fund has called for RIM to bring in activist investor Carl Icahn to shake things up. Icahn had similarly been brought into Motorola and encouraged the company to spin out its mobile division.

In an open letter ahead of RIM’s BlackBerry World, Northern Securities analyst Sameet Kanade called for a shake-out at the top at RIM, which is also struggling with a declining share price. The company has seen its stock fall by a quarter in the last year.

The sentiment from Kanade and various investors is that Lazardis and Balsillie are stuck in the past, focusing on the factors that made BlackBerry one of the world’s most desirable brands and are failing to come up with a device that will stand up to competition from the iPhone and an army of sleek Android devices.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years