back to article RIM's top bosses slash salaries to $1 a year

Troubled BlackBerry maker RIM appears to have been listening to its irate shareholders - promising a "comprehensive review" of the company while top shareholders and CEO-cum-chairmen Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis cut their wages to a dollar a year. "To demonstrate our passion, alignment and commitment to RIM's long-term …


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  1. Simon Rockman

    A bid to go private has to be on the cards.

    RIM is *only* a business play. It's great at secure, reliable email (outages notwithstanding). They got lucky with teenage girls wanting BBM and that gave them ideas above their station. But teenage girls are fickle and what RIM saw as continued growth was a spike which masked the business decline.

    Playbook was never going to fly.

    The greatest asset they have is actually the BBM PIN. If they licenced it to an Android phone manufacturer it would give that company the USP that any player in the Android market really needs. Ideally they would choose someone that was weak in the US market such as Sony (Ericsson).

    RIM can then go back to a good, solid business of selling the best corporate email solution. It's a great business but not high growth. They should refocus the devices around this, there hasn't been a good one since the Bold 9000.

    1. jonathan1

      Ah but the problem is many corporates (senior management) out there want the sparkle of the Apple/Android/WinPhone smartphone which BB just does't have.

      We were happy BES users until the CEO decided she 'must have' an iPad. Fortunetly, there are many 3rd party platforms now that offer similar products (although not a good or well developed) to BES and allow multi platform phone support. So now we have to run BES (for us mere mortals) and MobileIron for the higher ups.

      Rim tried to develope too quickly a more consumer focuss on their handsets and got it wrong.

  2. Ilgaz

    Let me say what will happen

    They will move to windows 8, if things doesn't fix they will sell blackberry suites on app stores with subscription. It already existed on Nokia, no big deal if you maintain some sort of rigorous security compatibility list and strict checks for root hacks.

  3. Gil Grissum

    The two biggest shareholders are the clowns at the top

    Now we know why RIM can't get rid of the "Clown Twin" Co-CEO's. They are the company's two largest shareholders. That makes it literally impossible to fire or replace them, as they have majority power in the company and above any of the shareholders, who can complain all they want, but nothing will change as long as those two clowns remain the co-CEO's. They have no vision, no strategy, and no idea how to compete with Android and iPhone. The Playbook was a bad joke. It didn't even utilize the killer app that RIM is known for (Corporate E-mail). Releasing a Tablet with nor corporate e-mail functionality wasn't going to endear any corporate customer to become interested in the Playbook and consumers were never going to pay an iPad price for a product that just wasn't compelling, in comparison. The clown twins at the top should sell off their shares and let go of control of the company so that someone with vision and strategy can take over and dig them out of this hole.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    overpaid though!

  5. Giles Jones Gold badge

    I think they would be better slashing their tablet prices to $1 over Christmas. Would lose a fair bit of money but it would at least establish the platform.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sad thing is they have already written them off on the books, selling them for silly cheapness will only upset some people anyhow. Now how about reducing the price of them by £1.0 a day until they reach 0£. That way those that wont one can join in the gamble with others and do they get one troday or wait a biut longer, it would be a buyers gamble but fantastic publicity and also sell them at a level which isn't silly

  6. fearnothing

    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned that the $1 salary is a tax evasion ploy. It enables them to be compensated through methods that they get taxed far less on. Many execs have used this including Steve Jobs.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Lol@playbook even there own staff use Apple tablets

    Sorry but high-ups who say I only get paid $1 fail top point out all the other tax dodging incomes from the company they manage to screw.

    being paid $1 only highlights that your a tax dodging peace of work who is not in touch with there employee's in arm's reach let alone the public you are tryinging to sell to.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the rest in bonuses.

    Nothing like a good tax dodge.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drop the hardware?

    BB's hardware and OS is looking increasingly tired. Now, if they were to produce a hypervisor-style secure deployment of their push email technology onto other platforms then they may have a winner - who wants to carry around two phones?

    If they could address corporate accounts' concerns over security by deploying BB push-email as a remotely-administered and protected partition on other platforms then I reckon they might have a future.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The $1 a year scam again?

    Think of all the payroll taxes that won't be deducted but will end up increasing the bottom line for the benefit of ... the major shareholders

  11. nothere


    In Canada a cash bonus is taxable as regular income. And if their bonus is in shares they would have to pay capital gains taxes on any they cash out.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    RIM's problems go from bad to worse...

    Once the buisness mobile, then the chav mobile, now the porno channel.,

    RIM are done for.

  13. Pete Spicer

    While the $1 a year, rest in bonuses is probably a tax dodge, there is one side benefit to it - probably the one that the rest of the board is trying to leverage, badly. (I seem to recall Steve Jobs only taking the $1 so he was actually on the books and thus got healthcare, prior to that I believe he wasn't actually directly paid by Apple as an employee even after he returned, but I could be wrong)

    If you're only guaranteed a very small amount and the rest is bonuses, it does encourage you to do a better job of things. Same way that sales team members usually only get a really low salary with potential for much better things if they sell well.

    Just here I'm not sure how well it'll work...

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