Recent woes at Research In Motion (RIM) have drastically decreased the net worth of both of the company's chief executives, chopping their total values in half in just a few months.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
The bad news just keeps on coming for Canadian BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM).
A new report on Forbes.com suggests the company’s co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie both recently saw their net worths chopped in half, and as such, the executives have ceded their billionaire status for the time being.
In March, Forbes released its annual ranking of the world’s richest billionaires, and both of RIM’s chief executives were included, with Lazaridis weighing in with a $1.9 billion net worth and Balsillie with approximately $1.8 billion.
Today, just a few months later, Forbes estimates that both men are worth about $800 million each, or less than half of their total worth last spring. These drastic losses are directly related to a drop in the overall value of RIM, since both executives’ fortunes are mostly composed of RIM stock. In just the last month, RIM stock has dropped almost 30 percent, according to Forbes.
Both Balsillie and Lazaridis, who cofounded RIM, first landed on Forbes’s richest billionaires list in 2007, and they’ve remained in prominent positions on that list every year since, with their highest values coming in 2008, when Lazaridis was valued at $3.6 billion and Balsillie at $3.4 billion. (The Forbes article does note, however, that both men would still be billionaires at this time if it weren’t for their frequent and generous donations to various community groups and research organizations.)
In related news, RIM also recently announced a “cost optimization program” that will include job cuts across the company and other corporate modifications meant to help stop the financial bleeding. In fact, RIM already handed out roughly 200 pink slips to staffers located in and around Waterloo, Ontario, where the company’s headquarters are located.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.