Research in Motion (Nasdaq:RIMM) announced the supposed rearrangement of chairs on the Titanic. The two senior guys Balsillie and Lazaridis announced that they will be stepping down tomorrow. They will still be on the board and they will still continue to hold huge personal investments in Research in Motion.
The key critical chess move is the appointment of former Toronto Stock Exchange chief Barbara Stymiest will become chairman of the board of directors. Ms. Stymiest has been a director since 2007. Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RY) had previously hired Ms. Stymiest to a new role of chief operating officer during a management overhaul in 2004 after a slump in the U.S. eroded profit at the bank. She was responsible for “strategic development,” with all corporate areas reporting to her, including finance and risk management.
Fortune magazine named her one of the 50 most powerful women in global business three times from 2006 to 2008, and she was named one of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking” in 2008 by American Banker.
Forget about the iPhone consumer battles. Research in Motion is all about security. Many countries want to access Blackberry networks internal systems so they can spy on supposed internal enemies. American and Russian security types have spoken very well of Blackberry security strength.
This strength in security is important to financial institutions and credit card operators. So with Ms Stymiest sitting at the top who is the very best to maximize shareholder wealth including Lazaridis and Balsille.
Hedge fund activists who want a strategy to compete with iPhone and other smart phones do not know what they are asking for.
George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.
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