RIM yet to settle management issues

Northwest & Ethical Investments, tasked to study management change within Research In Motion, yet to have any "substantial discussions" with company, says report.

BlackBerry smartphone maker Research In Motion (RIM), which fended off a shareholder effort to vote on separating the chairman and CEO roles in June, may face similar requests following revelations that stakeholders have yet to be consulted on the company's internal management review.

According to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday, Northwest & Ethical Investments, one of the shareholders promised a role in studying leadership change within the Canadian company in exchange for withdrawing a proposal to split the roles of chairman and CEO earlier in June, has yet to have "any substantial discussions" regarding a review RIM is scheduled to complete by Jan. 31, 2012.

Robert Walker, vice president of ethical fund at Northwest, told Bloomberg that it was supposed to help establish guidelines for a committees to study the management but had not held talks on this issue with RIM. He added the company has "had nothing" other than promises of information.

"It's concerning us for sure," he said.

If the review is not completed on time, Northwest plans to push for a vote by investors to separate the chairman and CEO role, Walker noted. The joint roles are currently held by Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis.

In response, RIM told Bloomberg that it had informed Northwest that it will share a draft of the panel's guidelines, but did not indicate an exact date.

"A committee consisting of RIM's independent directors is on track to meet the timelines agreed upon with NEI. The committee has kept NEI apprised of progress and remains committed to consulting with NEI and expects to be ready to meet with NEI soon," RIM stated.