He said it was an error due to a misunderstanding of accounting rules. executives and directors have resigned or been fired after internal reviews of options backdating problems. The company hopes to put its stock options issues in the past, but regulators say they are continuing to probe RIM's options practices. "When a company does an internal review, that helps speed our process, but it's not a substitute for our process," one U. RIM also announced it has appointed two new independent directors and is searching for two others. Balsillie and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis will pay -million each to cover the company's costs of investigating the options problems.
The admission makes RIM the first major Canadian company to get caught up in an options backdating scandal that has swept through the United States, leading to charges against some executives and forcing billions of dollars in earnings to be restated. The special committee report said all option grants, except those to the co-CEOs, were made under Mr.
In December the pension fund demanded RIM use independent inspectors to review stock option grants at the company.
In addition, according to the complaint, the backdating violated the terms of RIM's stock option plan and a listing requirement of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
(RIM's stock is listed on both the NASDAQ Stock Market and the Toronto Stock Exchange.) Specifically, the SEC's complaint alleges that Kavelman, Loberto, Balsillie and Lazaridis backdated option agreements and offer letters, which concealed the fact that the options were granted in-the-money.
His filing bolsters a court action by the Ironworkers Ontario Pension Fund, which owns 13,200 RIM shares. Lie comes with an impressive background: in the US, he is a notable expert on backdating and has been behind 180 major SEC investigations.
Last September he testified on a backdating enquiry heard by the US Senate. Lie has argued in his filing that after reviewing option grants from the firm since it went public in 1997, he believes options were granted to executives when they would be most profitable.
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Black Berry maker Research in Motion, Ltd., and four of its senior executives for stock option backdating.