RBC executive said to be a lock to replace Lazaridis and Balsillie at RIM
According to All Things D multiple sources say that the duo will be replaced by Royal Bank of Canada executive Barbara Stymiest. One insider said that Stymiest's appointment as Chairwoman of RIM "is a lock" with the only uncertainty being when she will start her new job. A second source said that nothing final has been decided. Still, Stymiest would seem a good choice to man the helm (or is that wo-man the helm?) at the troubled manufacturer. A member of Royal Bank of Canada's Group Executive Team, Stymiest has sat on RIM's board since 2007 so she should be familiar with the inner workings of the company including the problems that BlackBerry has been suffering from.
At least one Wall Street analyst says that the selection of Stymiest would be a winner. Peter Misek of Jefferies told All Things D, "We would view such an announcement positively as we believe she will initiate a formal strategic review, possibly trim costs in the hardware business, and possibly announce additional partnerships; however, we continue to see an outright sale in the near-term as unlikely and see near-term results as challenged."
Both current Chairmen have taken the blame for the problems that dropped the price of RIM's shares by 70% in 2011. Laziridis and Balsillie have cut their annual pay to $1 each. During a conference calls with analysts in December, Lazaridis said, "We ask for your patience and confidence.We realize we've not met expectations." Last quarter the company took a $485 million charge for excess inventory of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Including the charge, profits dropped 71% in the third quarter.