CrackBerry Asks: Who should be Chairman of the Board of Research In Motion?

By Kevin Michaluk on 4 Jan 2012 01:13 pm EST
 Who Should be RIM's Chairman of the Board?

Currently Research In Motion, maker of BlackBerry, have founder Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie serving as both Co-CEOs and Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors. Compared to most companies, this is an odd practice. Typically you have a single CEO vs. two Co-CEOs at the helm of day to day operations, and normally the CEO and Chairman positions are filled by different individuals. Of course it's hard to deny the success RIM has enjoyed over the years with its doubled up structured, but it's also impossible to ignore the current share price of RIMM stock, which has dropped considerably over the past 18 months.

The price of RIM shares took a jump up yesterday based on speculation that things may be changing sooner than later on the Chairman of the Board front, with current independent RIM director Barbara Stymiest to be named RIM's next Chairman. Remember, we're talking Chairman of the Board here... Mike and Jim would still remain Co-CEOs. With the stock price jumping up on just this rumor alone, it's obvious this is a change investors and Wall Street would like to see. Reflecting on the news, I couldn't help but think the stock price would have shot up even higher if yours truly was named the next Chairman (I have Board experience... seriously!). Though our Android-loving pal Phil Nickinson proposed a ham sandwich may make the best replacement for RIM Chairman.

So with that, CrackBerry Asks... who would you like to see as the Chairman of the Board for RIM? Should Mike and Jim keep sharing the job, is Barbara Stymiest the right gal to get the company on track, should it be CrackBerry Kevin infusing some passion in Waterloo or maybe just a ham sandwich?! Vote on the poll above, and sound off in the comments with any other ideas you may have!

Reader comments

CrackBerry Asks: Who should be Chairman of the Board of Research In Motion?


No one is ask you to eat the Ham sandwich, that's insane!

If you eat it, how could it be the Chairman of the Board of Research In Motion?

If there were no fourth option, you definitely would’ve had my vote, Kevin. But the opportunity to see the board kowtowing to a ham sandwich overflowing with win…just too good to pass up.

Hmm..Why didn't you all put actually people who might get it. Ham sandwich? Funny, but not gonna happen. Kevin? For CB readers - of course they will pick you over the current people. Lame

Awww.. somebody needs a hug.

I said in the post to leave your other suggestions in the comments! If there's some good other suggestions, we can run another poll. 

Sweet! Thanks for the support!

Maybe I should get some buttons made up to wear around CES next week in Vegas... Vote CrackBerry Kevin for RIM Chairman!

I think hats and t-shirts would be in order as well then! perhaps a couple of guys dressed in suits with ear pieces, posing as your bodyguards. Sure would get people wondering!
You got my vote Bud!

Kevin. If you ARE indeed serious. I for one would honestly campaign for you. I know it's not reaaaly a public vote setup, however with enough support it might make some of the larger stockholders take notice.

it came down to kevin or ham sandwiches

didn't have enough details on the sandwich, such as type of cheese, bread, etc

so had to go with kevin

Yes. At least for the timebeing. But with a different Chairman it's more plausible/feasible that a shakeup could then happen at the CEO position vs. the current structure.

"...with current independent RIM director Barbara Stymiest to be named RIM's next Chairman. Remember, we're talking Chairman of the Board here... Mike and Jim would still remain Co-CEOs."

My Vote is for Kevin, who else is more in touch with the users and abusers and could add some much needed positive energy and direction. Go Kevin!

Apple seem to listen to their customers well, so I think if Kevin got the job then he would do the same. Listen to us, hear our problems and fix them.

In all reality if they did select Kevin then you know that RIM is actually listening to the addicts. Who knows, maybe even if Barbara gets it she may be willing to listen to Crackberry nation's fearless leader and there may actually be some progress.

Please stop filling your blog with this silly nonsense. Please continue the focus on product news, how to's, great new apps and more importantly stop feeding the negative.


Your sense of humor is akin to a nice punch in the face. Its called a sense of humor for a reason.

You hold the right to move on to the next article. You also hold the right to shut your mouth and let us have some fun with this.

Believe it or not some of us really believe that someone like Kevin could make a difference. There were options they could have included like Adam (go Giants ha) Bla1ze and Joseph. I'm pretty sure that if Kevin wasn't on the list then we would have voted for Barbara.

RIM is going through a whole top-bottom shakeup and (apparently) the report will be ready by the end of the month with action before the end of February. We should be seeing more of this news coming out soon and its about time.

Crackberry Kevin FTW

seriouisly why isnt kevin on the board of directors, i own stock i will vote for him !! how do we get this ball moving !!

See where this thread is going? These guys built what everyone considered the best SmartPhone company in the world. Suddenly, through very strategic efforts by ad agencies and some other bloggers (eg BGR), they are now thought of as the worst. I have all the good Apps on my Blackberry and it's safe, secure and my friends with other devices are constantly complaining. I have better battery life, excellent media support and I don't drop calls.

So.. when even Crackberry posts something like this, trying to be tongue in cheek funny, it is simply buying into the negative rhetoric (in my opinion).

I hear what you're saying, but ad agencies and bloggers aren't solely responsible for where RIM is at right now. There's been quite a bit of poor decision making, and a post like this is aimed at the source of the poor decision making. That's what need to change.

I agree with all your positives you stated, that's why I'm using a BB as well. But change does need to happen...and change is not always a negative thing.

So poking fun is buying into negative rhetoric? thats the silliest thing I have ever heard.

Let me guess - this site should be droll and only monochrome colors.

Kevin, you're lucky you left bacon off of that sandwich, otherwise I'd have voted for the sandwich. But you get the nod this time.

Vote For CB Kevin, he'll get us better BB's and he'll get us Bacon! (I think)

My vote is to leave the cureent co-chairmen in place and find a new CEO as in a single new person running the day-to-day. I think this is what the the company should do as it will enject some fresh new ideas into how to really stop the bleeding. Removing them from the borad is dumb, they still run day-to-day which is what's hurting them the most.

We have seen and heard what their plans are and things still have not panned out so I suggest getting a new CEO allow Jim and Mike to over see the borad. You can't really kick them out completely because of the success they have had but it is clear that they are no longer capable of running the day-to-day. So let them stay on the borad and bring in a new CEO and I bet the stock will jump double digits instard of the single we saw when this was mentioned.

Sirhil, that's a nice idea, but not likely to work. If Mike &/or Jim chair the board, who pushes them to step down as co-CEOs? Would you or I be that clear thinking in that situation? RIM needs fresh eyes in both top spots.

Relations with developers for the present product line haven't been that great. The R&D toward BB10 seems stymied. The only BB10 device showing a keyboard gets axed, production models of whatever are pushed back 6+ months. R&D and new products need to be a norm for the company, not following everybody else's lead.

The other thing is that there doesn't seem to be much emphasis on support or quality control. Support is $50/hour USD, unless instigated by a carrier? And looking at all the issues on various OS6 and OS7 phones (OS7 is better), how do you keep the customers you have and attract new ones if you can't give them good product? I've beta tested more stable OSes than the version of OS6 that came on my 9800, last year.

Isn't Barbara already on the existing board, and to make it worse part of the investigatory panel whose findings will impact the decision whether they should be replaced?

This is the entire problem with RIM - they need new, fresh blood that can think outside of the box, and listen to what users and the market want. (That's why my vote goes to you Kevin!)

My only reservation is that the new blood needs to bring fresh ideas along the current path, not look to breaking up the company into pieces.

I know nothing about this Barbara person, I had loads of ham over Christmas (it makes you fat which is not what RIM needs) and I really think the Bobsey twins need a shakeup. Kevin by default.

PS I expect if you get the job that I'll have a nice BB10 phone (a slider) under my 2012 Christmas tree - hint hint...

How about BOTH Kevin AND the Ham Sandwich as co-chairmen? They are both hams, and they are both cheesy... ;-) Seriously though, I'm not really sure what the best thing to do is, but oftentimes bringing in someone new and putting them in charge tends to energize things, and get new ideas rolling and can often spur a positive turnaround, even if it is nothing more than just perception. I don't know if removing Jim and Mike completely is the right thing, but bringing somone else on in a position of high responsibility like a CEO may be a good move at this point. I do think Kevin would make a great CEE (Chief Executive Evangelist)! With his passion, energy, and charisma, I do think that this could help persuade people to come over to Blackberry in droves.

Are you certain you can leave Mr. Kevin Michaluk and Mr. Ham Sandwich alone in a room together?

CrackBerry Kevin hands down gets my vote. He's the spiritual leader of BlackBerry and the many reasons I choose to stick with it cause if Kevin has faith, then so do I.

RIM didn't create the world of BlackBerry being run by stupid people. I do not think Mike and Jim should leave at all. It is just that RIM has gotten bigger and more diverse. Now it is time to take advantage of brains that have some additional knowledge and skills. Collaboration makes a business MORE, and that is what RIM needs. Let Mike & Jim do what they do best, and call in someone else to manage it all. It is hard to let go a little when something is your baby. They have every right to be proud. AND it is time for some additional talent to free them up. You can bet they never dreamed their business would reach such size.

Kevin, as our fearless leader you should set up a panini booth at CES with ham and cheese panini's that say, "CB Kevin FTW". This way we can have our cake and eat it too! Kevin and RIMM in 2012 FTW!

I think they may need to bring in a outside person for the job. I have no name in mind, but would say someone from a tech company and not from a phone maker.

I think Mike Myers should be Chairman of the Board!!!! (although that would really be a "schwing" vote ;-)

This minor mostly symbolic change amounts to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. How is it that RIM did not crap its pants when the IPhone came out almost 5 years ago? I have a 9900 and a Playbook. My son bought 2 32gig PBs at $249 each because he liked mine and it was SO MUCH better than a Kindle Fire (lack of apps, not withstanding), so I am a BB fanboy, but I am not in denial.

When the bar has been set at insanely great, just " good enough" is not good enough anymore.

Is everyone trying to boost Kevin's ego? Lets do a poll with real answers as options so we can actually discover what people think RIM should do with the CEO situation.

This isn't as easy as it seems folks. Has Ballmer brought new vision over at Mr. Softie. The 2 Bozos Apple tried in between Jobs how'd that work out?

That said I voted for Kevin but not before seriously considering this Sandwich fella. If it had been 4 hours earlier that you asked this question I might have gone with a different response?

Voted Crackberry Kevin...

But serious Kevin and the whole Crackberry Crew should wear "Crackberry Kevin for Chairman of the board" T-shirts to CES and every other event you guys go to...

Once the Chairman position is filled just change it to a campaign to elect you to the board period... haha

I dont much care who runs bb as long as bb10 and os2 still come out it could be the ham sammich for all i care.

Apparently a ham sandwich would make a better chairman of the board than Mike and Jim. Personally, I concur.

Kevin is my choice! BTW Kev, I'm in the 'peg, whats up with the comfy weather? There must be some mistake!

Curve 8330 CDMA (eww, I know, u/g to Torch soon!)
Winner of EA Mobile SE Playbook - rockin' it!

Why is it BlackBerry is incapable of making something spectacular? I mean is Apple the only company competent enough to be successful and create great products?

I don't understand, It's not rocket science, maybe it does take a lot research, but If they want to kick Apple's booty they need to have the best graphical user interface, better battery life, lighter & thinner devices.. Also have support for all popular formats including MKV..

Now I admit Playbook delivers spectacularly in the Multi-Tasking department, and even with Flash.. But It's not enough..

No one can save RIM because everyone is in this for MONEY.... not anything but pure money. Same goes to Apple Inc, but they came up strong with user friendly devices earn money.

I voted for Kevin of course, I was thinking ham sammich for a bit. But I think Jim and Mike have already been doing about as much as a sammich....

A passionate Crackberry like Kevin might save RIM so long as he does not end up like those two once he's the Chairman :-)

Voted for Kevin.
I think RIM needs enthusiasts.
By the way Kevin.Is your origin Ukrainain? :) Just saw you last name )

On a serious note, it wouldn't be a terrible idea for RIM to hire Kevin in some form and advertise it as hiring a voice for the entire fan base. It would be an interesting move that could possibly draw some positive publicity. I'm not saying Chairman, but some sort of smaller role might work.

I would go for Co-Chairman of the board!
Barbara for her experience and the business side of things.
And KEVIN for his professional take on phones/gadgets and as a voice of a great community.

This way Barbara can keep the board happy with bureaucratic nonsense and politics while Kevin is cooking up new things and take on a sort of YODA role for the Co-CEOs, guiding them onto the right path and telling them whats wrong and right!

Put a condensed rersume of her on line and we can think. I am with RIM all the way. Someone from Crackberry or Phone Dog should be considered. I am ready to buy shares.

We all love Kevin guys, but to make this vote meaningful and useful, we really need to focus on the possible candidates. I think Mike deserves the post as CEO. I'm not sure if President is useful as well. Mike & Jim need to ascertain if the co-CEO roles are working. Other execs can also provide input :)

I think it is important that Mike stays on as CEO. He's the company founder and key to the success of RIM (past & future!), but he can't do everything.