For once not all is well with the Canadian smartphone giant.
It’s called yin and yang, pleasure and pain…
Following the news at the start of the week that RIM had just shipped its 50 millionth BlackBerry, it closes with confirmation the company has had to pay out record fines and make its co-CEOs step down from the board over allegations of cooking the books.
How were they toasted? It all stems from an investigation begun in 2006 when the Ontario Securities Commission accused the exes of re-pricing and backdating stock options to make illicit profits in trade. Furthermore a 2007 internal investigation found 40 per cent of stock options offered to employees were also illegally backdated combined with 12 of 16 CEO option grants. Oh dear.
Consequently both RIM co-CEOs – Jim Balsillie (left) and Mike Lazaridis (middle) – are in hot water with both being removed from the board (something Balsillie did voluntarily back in 2007). On top of this over the next 12 months Balsillie and Lazaridis will pay C$5m and C$1.5m respectively in fines and along with former CFO Dennis Kavelman (right) a huge C$38.3m repayment to the company. The overall value attached to the award is calculated at over C$90m, a record for Canada.
It’s all a long way from the squeaky clean public image of BlackBerry – often seen as the high class underdog which has risen to prominence against massive odds. Today’s motto: nothing is ever as black and white as it seems…