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RIM’s New Board Chairman, Barbara Stymiest, Interviewed Again


We have not heard much from Barbara Stymiest since her initial appointment as independent chairman of the RIM board on January 22nd. She gave a few statements then essentially endorsing Thorsten Heins and saying that Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie were actually the ones who put forward Heins as the succession plans years ago. The Financial Post has caught up with her in her home for an interview on how things have been going for the last week. Stymiest does a great job of staying on message and I think you can boil it all down to one statement she made:

“Driving change in an organization means a high-performing board and a high-quality management team,” Stymiest, 55, said Monday in the wood-paneled dining room of her Toronto home. “You get those two right and you can drive change quickly and effectively.”

I agree with her that RIM has some great talent and potential that demands an adept management and board touch to be reborn again. There are still some investors saying that Stymiest is not strong enough and didn’t make enough change but I think they are missing one key point. There is finally one CEO and one board chairman where the “Buck Stops.” As long as those two positions are providing a clear message to their execs we can hopefully see that translate into actions ASAP.

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