Has Jim Balsillie, the former Co-Chief Executive Officer of Research In Motion Ltd. lost the confidence in his former company? According to a US regulatory filing, as of 31st December, Balsillie will have no shares of Research In Motion owned by him as he sold the 5.1% stake ownership of him in the company. According to the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, when a person owns less than 5% stake in a company, he is not required to disclose when they sell or buy shares.
Incidentally, at point of time, Balsillie was the 3rd biggest shareholder of the company and his contributions played a major role in leading the company to become a smartphone pioneer. Incidentally, the product introductions of the company have fumbled and it lost a huge market share to the iPhone product of Apple over the last few years. In an attempt to make a strong comeback, the company recently changed its name to BlackBerry and also published its new lineup in last month.
While asked about this stake sale of Balsillie, the spokeswoman of BlackBerry, Heidi Davidson decided not to comment. She added that the company has a policy of not commenting on the holdings of the individual shareholders. Incidentally, when asked about his decision, Balsillie also declined to make any comment.
As the decision of Balsillie came out in public, the shares of BlackBerry experienced a big decline of 7.5%. However, at a later time, it recovered a bit and each share is currently priced at $14.43.
In 4th quarter of 2012, a lot of optimism was there at the launch of the new BlackBerry 10 platform. It generated a 58% increase in its stock prices after the same saw years of declines. However, as the new phones were unveiled on 30th January, many have become concerned of a slow rollout in US, the single biggest market of BlackBerry. The new Z10 model is already available in several countries such as the United Arab Emirates, UK and Canada; however, it is not expected to be launched in US before March.
Not only Balsillie, but Donald Yacktman has also sold half of his total holdings in the smartphone company before the launch of the BlackBerry 10. In 2012, incidentally, the multi-billion mutual fund firm of Yacktman was the fifth largest investor for BlackBerry.