RIM to add banker to board - Mobile World Live

RIM to add banker to board

15 JUN 2012

RIM is set to appoint a banker to its board, a move observers suggested may indicate the company is looking for deals as part of its strategic review process.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company has nominated Timothy Dattels, an investor at TPG Capital and a former partner at Goldman Sachs, for approval at its annual meeting next month. Dattels would replace Antonio Viana-Baptista, a former senior executive with Telefonica. The move comes as RIM continues a “strategic review” of its operations, having appointed JP Morgan and RBC Capital Markets as advisors.

These partners are assisting with assessing “the relative merits and feasibility of various financial strategies, including opportunities to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives.”

In a statement to WSJ, RIM said that “from his years as an investment banker, Tim has deep experience advising international companies on finance and corporate strategy, His insight provides valuable outside perspective as RIM orchestrates its turnaround.”

RIM has already made several changes to its board in recent months. It appointed Barbara Stymiest, former Chief Executive of Royal Bank of Canada, as independent chair of its board. In addition, Jim Balsillie, former co-CEO, resigned as a company director in March 2012. The firm has also parted company with executives including Patrick Spence, its global sales head, David Yach, its CTO, and Jim Rowan, its COO.

According to Reuters, the current reshuffle disappointed investors looking for more sweeping changes in the company’s management.

The reports also noted that in the last fiscal year, former co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis received US$8 million and US$4 million in compensation, respectively, including salaries, stock awards and severance packages.

Thorsten Heins, its newly appointed CEO, had a package worth around US$10 million, with a salary of US$670,000 bolstered by share awards and other incentives, reflecting his promotion during the period.

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