Shares of Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) opened lower Wednesday after surging more than 7% Tuesday on investor hopes that a leadership change may finally be in the works for the Canadian maker of the BlackBerry smartphone and the Playbook tablet. Canada’s Financial Post says that independent director Barbara Stymiest is the most likely candidate to replace Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, who have been acting as co-CEOs and co-chairmen of the board at RIM. Stymiest is a former chief executive of the Toronto Stock Exchange and a former top executive at Royal Bank of Canada. She has been called RIM’s highest-profile director, and has been pressured by investors to push for a management change.
RIM stock is still trading at less than a quarter of its 2011 high, and its $8 billion market capitalization makes it a an affordable takeover target for deep-pocketed suitors that may want to increase their presence in the enterprise space, where RIM’s BlackBerry maintains many loyal customers. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) reportedly offered to buy RIM during 2011, but was rebuffed by the board along with several other suitors.
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