The Centre for Corporate & Public Governance has a statement at its website concerning the most recent revelations of stock option irregularities at RIM. Company chiefs may be caught up not so much in a Catch-22 as a Catch-52, since that is the form U.S. securities laws require that CEOs and CFOs sign attesting to the accuracy of financial statements and disclosure. Both co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, and CFO Dennis Kavelman, routinely certified the results of RIM’s quarterly statements and annual filings.
In our previous comments on this company, we predicted there would be more surprises. But it is still hard to believe that there was such a prevalent culture of ignorance at the top management and board levels about proper disclosure and accounting of stock options. Yet that’s what the internal report is claiming. That may be a rather generous interpretation.
Finlay On Governance will have more on this breaking story in upcoming posts.