Pressure for shake-up at RIM grows

Steve Dinneen
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THERE was growing pressure yesterday on BlackBerry maker Research in Motion to unveil a boardroom shakeup that could see its co-chairmen ousted.

An increasing groundswell, led by activist investor Jaguar Financial, is calling for a break-up or sale of the company following a dire year.

The board has launched a review of the unusual company structure, in which Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie act as both co-chief executive and co-chairmen.

RIM says it will report to investors by 31 January, with the appointment of an independent chairman likely and stripping one of the men of the chief executive’s role also a possibility.

But this does not go far enough for some investors who want both men out after the company lost as much as 80 per cent of its value last year.

Its market share has also slipped to just 6.5 per cent in the US as Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhones continue to dominate the industry.

RIM shares bounced as much as seven per cent following the announcement of the review but fell back 2.7 per cent yesterday.

Its woes were compounded by a three day outage last year that left millions with no email access.