A friend of mine pointed out to me that the addition of Prem Watsa (Wikipedia) as an independent board member on RIM’s board may be more than a simple appointment. As of September he was the fourth largest investor in RIM after Primecap Management and both Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. Watsa was announced as a new board member after Mike and Jim stepped down. Watsa runs Fairfax Financial Holdings and is sort of the Warren Buffett of Canada. He told Bloomberg that he might buy more shares of RIM now that he is a board member.
Just like Buffett, Watsa is known for perceiving value where the market may not. According to the Globe & Mail he has a history of tackling companies in trouble and turning them around. Watsa is usually very reserved but he is stepping into the spotlight for RIM which makes me wonder what he has in store…
Watsa specifically told the Financial Post that “Mike asked me to join the board” and he recieved assurances that his “technology genius” would not leave the firm. He even went further to say that “Mike’s not going anywhere…. If he were going to retire, I would not have gone on the board.”
Anybody else think there is something going on behind the scenes?