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RIM's Incompetence Knows No Bounds

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BLACKBURIED
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How much more can we really take of this? Is this what's become of this once-promising company? It's absolutely pathetic.

Even at the very end -- a death that everyone saw coming -- Research in Motion (RIMM) manages to top its most incompetent, arrogant, and utterly inept decisions with the biggest public gaffe possible.

Former co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie are arguably the men responsible for piloting RIM right into the mountain. They ignored the meteoric rise of the iPhone (AAPL) and Android (GOOG), allowed themselves to get out-innovated by Nokia (NOK) and Microsoft (MSFT), waved goodbye as developers flocked to Apple and Google, dismissed the staffers when they began to mutiny, introduced a horrifically awful marketing campaign, and finally congratulated one another as the company crumbled.

No wonder current chief Thorsten Heins hastily backpedaled after blurting out that "no change is needed" during his first press conference.

This is a dying enterprise, and Lazaridis and Balsillie were the ones who beat it within an inch of its life.

And according to a recent SEC filing, they've been rewarded millions for their efforts.

As part of their "transition agreements," Lazaridis was given nearly $4 million in compensation. Balsillie was granted even more, to the tune of almost $8 million.

"Lazaridis and Balsillie revolutionized the worldwide wireless industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry and forever changed how the world communicates," RIM said in the filing.

"Under their leadership, the company successfully navigated many challenges and quickly scaled to become a global company and industry leader with sales in over 175 countries and more than 17,000 employees worldwide. Over the last decade, the company experienced tremendous growth, with annual revenues increasing from $294 million to just under $20 billion. Lazaridis and Balsillie have also received many awards outside of the company in recognition of their success and contributions to the company, the broader mobile industry and Canadian business. These factors were taken into consideration by the board in entering into the transition agreements. In addition, the transition agreements were entered into in recognition of Lazaridis' and Balsillie's years of dedicated service and leadership as founders, co-CEOs and co-chairs of the company."

Somehow omitted from the filing: "...and went on to destroy everything they built."

With BlackBerry 10 still months away from release, an ever-dwindling market share, and developers the company couldn't even bribe in order to stick with it, RIM is on life support.

And with this shockingly dunderheaded payout, it has slowly reached up from its death bed and begun weakly tugging at the plug.

(See also: Apple Co-Founder Hates Siri, Too and iPhone Can't Match Android's Versatility, Says Steve Wozniak)

Twitter: @mcs212

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