Former RIM (RIMM) Exec Balsillie Actually Tried to Improve Company Before Departure

April 13, 2012 9:04 AM EDT
Former Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) co-Chairman and co-CEO Jim Balsillie recently resigned from RIM's Board of Directors following the company's quarterly results release, but the reason may not be due to what many folks believed...

Unless, that is, they believe there was discord at the top of RIM, in which case they'd be totally right.

According to reports out Friday, Balsillie left RIM following efforts to convince other executives that allowing carriers in North America and Europe to provide services through RIM's proprietary network would be a good idea for the company.

Since its inception, RIM has kept non-BlackBerry devices off of its network. The move would have opened up the door for RIM to gain a stronger foothold with low-tier customers on no-frills phones, noted Reuters, by offering low-cost plans (and plenty of hyphens!). Plans would have been limited to social media and instant messaging.

Obviously, RIM shareholders will tell you the strategy didn't pan out and Balsillie left following the failed effort.

With 26,840,490 RIM shares to his name, Balsillie has seen his holdings drop in value by about $1.7 billion since 2008 (we're using a conservative average of $80 per share).

RIM operates its own network across the globe to gather, compress, and process data, for which it charges carriers a monthly fee. The network allows carriers to deal with less bandwidth issues as much email, messaging, and media traffic gets routed through the hubs. The system brings RIM about $1 billion in revenue per quarter.

Shares are about 0.4 percent lower Friday morning.

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