Shares of Research In Motion (RIM) fell 2.5 per cent after the struggling BlackBerry maker named a financier to replace a telecom executive on its board, disappointing investors looking for more sweeping changes.
The company, whose share price has tumbled alongside its once-dominant share of the smartphone market, also said it paid its new CEO more than $10 million in the company’s last fiscal year and gave him hundreds of thousands of stock options to take the top job in January.
It also revealed millions of dollars in payments to former co-CEO Jim Balsillie, when he parted ways with RIM.
“There may be some tough questions asked or some shareholder backlash if the change at the top is just this,” said Sameet Kanade, an analyst at Northern Securities, referring to the announcements, made in a filing ahead of RIM’s annual meeting next month.
Kanade said the filing suggested the company was making little progress toward the broad changes investors are seeking.
RIM has lost favor as the email-centric BlackBerry falls behind in a fast-changing smartphone market now dominated by Apple Inc’s iPhone and devices using Google Inc’s Android software. Still, the nomination of financier Timothy Dattels to the board could indicate RIM is more seriously considering going private, or mulling a leveraged buyout for the company.
Dattels, a senior partner at private equity firm TPG Capital LP, previously served as Goldman Sachs’ head of investment banking for Asia excluding Japan.
He replaces Antonio Viana-Baptista, a former Telefonica SA executive who had been a RIM director since September 2009. RIM said Viana-Baptista opted out so he could spend more time in his role as CEO of Credit Suisse in Iberia.
RIM is proposing the re-election of the remainder of its board at an annual meeting on July 10. It said it would look to add one or more new board members in the current fiscal year.
RIM’s Nasdaq-listed shares closed 2.5 per cent lower at $10.40 on Thursday. The stock has lost more than 70 per cent of its value over the past year.
The company said Thorsten Heins, who was promoted to chief executive earlier this year, received total compensation of $10.2 million in fiscal 2012, which ended late in March. He received an award of 400,000 restricted stock units, which vest over a three-year period, for taking the top job.