Balsillie out as RIM Chairman

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Sometimes the big boys just don’t want the limelight. This seems to be the case as CTV is reporting that RIM’s Co-CEO Jim Balsillie will be stepping down as Chairman for the Waterloo-based company. It’s a voluntary move by the exec, who’s probably looking a little sheepish today as RIM announced that there will be a change to the numbers presented during Q2 of last year.

“Consistent with current best practices in corporate governance, the roles of chairman and CEO are being separated,” the firm said.

“Mr. Balsillie has voluntarily stepped down from the role of chairman to allow future consideration of a non-executive chairman by the nominating committee.”

The errors, which were revealed after an extensive review, mean RIM will have to restate its annual financial statements for 2004, 2005, 2006 and for the first quarter of 2007.

Balsillie and Laziridis have both offered to pay RIM up to $5 million each to help offset costs incurred by the review and the restatement.

“RIM has agreed to accept this voluntary payment,” said the firm.

No deliberate wrongdoing was found in the review but the company will have to reduce the amount of previously reported earnings prior to the end of 2006 by about US$250 million.