Stephen Foley: A fruitful disaster

 

US Outlook On Wall Street, when you lose billions of dollars, at least your employer can claw back some of your previous bonuses. Not so in the Canadian tech industry. In fact, lose billions and you can expect an even bigger payout.

In the teeth of BlackBerry's collapsing market share, and the diving value of its parent company, Research in Motion, Jim Balsillie and Mark Lazaridis stepped down as co-chief executives in January. But it turns out the board has given them $4m (£2.6m) and $8m, to help with their "transition arrangements". The payments reflect how they "revolutionised the worldwide wireless industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry and forever changed how the world communicates", says the firm's mind-blowing justification.

They got paid for that on the way up. They wouldn't deserve to get paid for it again on the way out, even if they hadn't driven the company to disaster. It's outrages like this that spark revolutions. Canada can expect a belated shareholder spring.

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