Former RIM co-chief dumps stock, sends no confidence signal

Former RIM co-chief dumps stock, sends no confidence signal

Summary: The smartphone maker's former co-chief executive has dumped all his stock in the company, suggesting he has no confidence in the firm.

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TOPICS: BlackBerry
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The former co-chief executive of Research in Motion (now named BlackBerry) has sold all his shares in the company, according to a new regulatory filing.

Jim Balsillie reported a zero-percent stake in the company he ran for more than 28 years, according to a 13G filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, showing that he sold his 5.1 percent stake in the Canadian smartphone maker at some point in the last year.

While it's likely that Balsillie may have wanted to completely cut ties with the company that he co-founded following his resignation in January 2012, but it sends a strong perceived signal that he no longer has confidence in the company.

As a result $BBRY shares fell by more than 6 percent in pre-marking trading on the Nasdaq this morning after Bloomberg first reported the news, and at the time of writing was climbing back up but was still down in early morning trading.

Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 10.13.14
Shares in $BBRY fell by more than 6 percent in pre-market trading on February 14. (Image: Google Finance)

As a result, he has no voting rights on the company's board. It's not clear exactly when he dumped his entire stake in the company, but it happened at the latest of December 31, 2012, according to the filing.

One year ago, he owned 26.84 million shares. If he cashed in all his stock, he would have generated anything between a share price high of $17 per share or a low of $6.45 per share, equating to between $173.1 million and $456.2 million.

BlackBerry has tried to turn itself around in the last few months with the release of the BlackBerry Z10 only last month. But delays in getting the device to the U.S. market has concerned investors and shareholders. The keyboard enabled BlackBerry Q10 would arrive later in the year, leaving many loyal BlackBerry customers frustrated.

Shares in the company have taken a beating in the last couple of weeks since the launch, and fell by more than 25 percent following the launch.

Topic: BlackBerry

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18 comments
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  • It has fallen twice and rebounded twice

    It's been a volatile stock to say the least. Before launch it fell to around $10 and then rebounded back up to over $18. A few days before and after launch it fell down to the $12 mark. Then it rebounded to over $17. This is now down to the $14 mark. The bottom seems to be going up $2 every month / half a month. Which means the bears are as scary as before and investors are seeing more quality in this company as time passes. I hope they do make this turnaround. The North East USA has free and open access to Ontario Canada where RIM builds its products. Millions of jobs in the USA are dependent on this open economy. What hurts RIM will hurt the US as much as Canada. This is not the case with the phones coming from Asia. Keeping this technology at home in North America is a good thing. New York should recognize what an important relationship it has with Ontario and stop crapping on its major trading partner.
    techman31
    • But for foreign (Asian) investors

      they're more worried about their ROI then they are American or Canadian jobs.
      William Farrel
    • They won't ...

      Techman31....Its not going to turn around. Lets not look even more foolish than we have over the past few years defending RIM. There is absolutely no compelling reason for an iPhone or Android owner to switch to Blackberry, unless you enjoy tormenting yourself with a device from a company who has consistently disappointed and lied to its customers and shareholders.

      Also, your comment on "millions of US jobs depend on this open economy"... what in the world are you talking about? What exactly does RIM have to do with an "open economy"? Are you implying that if RIM were to no longer exist, our open economy would also fall? Dumbest thing I have heard in a long time.
      ryork272
    • "The North East USA has free and open access to Ontario Canada..."

      Huh? And I suppose the rest of the world does not?

      I sure hope you don't really work in the IT business. God help your customers if you do.
      IT_Fella
  • Just to add

    Would this not make you more bullish - given that selling of 5% of the company shares were being sold, are not now being sold?

    As far as understanding the course for the future, people were very critical of Jim. Why would they look into this - he isn't on the board and doesn't have access to inside information.
    techman31
    • Dude!!!

      Take off your rose colored glasses already!! The bottom line is Balsille was an insider (co-CEO!) and know a heck of a lot more about RIM than you or me or any of the analysts. That's the point Einstein!
      ryork272
      • The man almost

        bankrupted the company when he was running it. Now he sells his shares because he thinks the company is going nowhere. I say it's time to buy because anything this idiot says, I would believe the opposit.
        AfterSuperPhone
  • This is Jim Balsillie... enough said

    The man can be a bit emotional in his decision making process (blowing time & money on an attempt to get a new NHL team when his company is tanking, anyone?) - nothing about what he does should be looked at as a rational assessment of the situation.
    s_southern
    • Maybe he wants that money to try to buy another team?

      Everyone wants to look at this as former CEO has no confidence, but in the end he may just want all the money for a new venture, maybe one going head to head with RIM, where having stock in RIM could raise a "conflict of interest" concern.

      Or maybe he wants to try and buy another team?
      William Farrel
    • Sorry, but, you make no sense...

      What kind of person would make an emotional decision where he could lose millions? To people already involved with a major corporation, and where they have a huge stake, emotions is not the best way to make decisions. Anger and hate and envy and spite, are not the way that successful people make decisions. Chances are that, if Basille had hopes of his stock going up in price and possibly getting earnings from the stock, that he would have kept his shares of the company.
      adornoe
      • His decision is not

        based on any insider information nor is his ability to make sound business decisions helping him on this. Based on his past "achievement", we all know this guy is a baffon. He's been out of the Co-CEO position for over a year and out of the board for over 6 months. He has zero clue the changes that have happened inside Blackberry nor does he know the product roadmap (smartphone, tablets, mobile computing, cross-industry products/service, etc). I have no clue why he's dumping his shares but I'm pretty sure he's not doing it because he know BB is going to go under. Maybe he just wants the money so he can retire to a nice warm island.
        AfterSuperPhone
        • Your comments make no sense either...

          How the heck do you know that he has no inside information.

          Also, he was a chief executive at the company for many years, so, he understands the corporate environment there quite well.

          In addition, one doesn't need to have inside information, or be an employee, to make an informed decision about keeping stock or selling it. How do you think investors make the decision to invest in a company when they also don't have insider information? Stockholders have been leaving the BB/RIM stock for good reason, and Basille is doing likewise.

          Also, retiring to a nice warm island doesn't require the many millions that he stands to keep from selling his stocks, and the biggest reason for anyone selling a poorly performing stock, is to prevent losing more money.
          adornoe
          • So, basically

            what you're saying is that this guy who almost took down the company with all his business decisions is right about this move (that Blackberry has no future). I believe it is you who isn't making any sense. I'm not saying one way or the other if Blackberry will make a huge come back or fade into the tech history. What I am saying is that Jim B's move to sell off his share of the company is not sending any message to the investor community. The guy has made wrong decision after wrong decision over the last few years and all of a sudden you make him out to be like Warren Buffet. Sorry but he can cash out because he's got an opinion or he's now all risk averse but just as he is selling, there are many others who are buying. What makes his decision more valid than those who are going long?
            AfterSuperPhone
    • He was the sales guy.

      He didn't design the phones or the OS. You are being silly. He already had agreements with hundreds of carriers. That increased from zero under his guidance and never fell at the end.
      Susan Antony
  • Wise man

    Their chance is small.
    GoPower
  • Their could be multiple reasons why he sold.

    Or it suggests he moving back into the industry in another position or at another company and was simply dumping his stock so that their would be no conflict of interests in his new position, what ever that is. Or he just wanted to free up capital. May be he thought having a clean break with the company and removing all of his influence at the company would be best for it long term survival.

    Blackberry stocks has all the al marks of investors jumping out having made a descent returns from the shares were at their lowest, not wanting to risk their profits on the hopes of further revival in the company. As pointed out, the bottom has be increasing over the last few months, which I suspect generally point to more investors having confidence in the stock.
    Knowles2
  • So, an idiot sells some stock...

    Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. It's acutally the end of a bad joke. This fool (Jim Balsillie) should have had his stock taken away, and be forced to work at a fast food place. He helped (almost) kill the company! Taking his stock decision as a industry trend is accurate: DO THE OPPOSITE of this moron! I re-bought my stock after he sold his.
    Del Wells
  • When did he sell the shares?

    I think it is being reported now but happened soon after he was unceremoniously dumped.
    Since the shares were falling last spring, it made financial sense and even emotional sense.
    Move along. Nothing to see here.
    Susan Antony