BlackBerry co-CEOs worth more than $10 billion

June 14th, 2008 - 12:44 pm ICT by IANS  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, June 14 (IANS) The two co-CEOs of Research in Motion (RIM), the company that makes BlackBerry, are getting richer and richer as the shares of their business continue to surge unabated. With shares having jumped to $141 from just $56 last year, the combined share value of co-CEO and founder Mike Lazaridis and co-CEO Jim Balsillie has crossed the $10 billion mark, according to a management ‘proxy’ circular.

In fact, the two top men have more than doubled their worth from last year when their combined stockholdings stood at $3.4 billion. This period saw BlackBerry enter new markets and launch new products.

The Globe and Mail puts Lazaridis’ current shareholdings at $5.2 billion and Balsillie’s at $4.83 billion. In addition, they also have “exercisable and unexercisable” options involving several million more RIM shares.

“For Balsillie, the options are worth $215 million-plus, while Lazaridis’s are worth nearly $192 million,” the report says.

Further, the salaries of these two top executives have risen from $549,250 last year to $1.12 million. And their individual bonuses have also gone up from $1.13 million to $1.73 million.

Interestingly, Balsillie has been trying - unsuccessfully - to buy a franchise for the National Hockey League, which is Canada’s premier sporting event.

Lazaridis dropped out his engineering degree in 1984 to launch Research in Motion (RIM) in Waterloo near Toronto. Eight years later, Balsillie joined him.

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