RIM could face shareholder backlash over dismal year at annual meeting

TORONTO — Shareholders of Research In Motion, perhaps some of the most staunch supporters of the BlackBerry smartphone, are expected to take a far more critical view of the embattled company at its annual meeting on Tuesday.The meeting in RIM’s hometown of Waterloo, Ont., will be the first time many of them will meet new chief executive Thorsten Heins and the numerous other executives who have come aboard in recent months.It will also be a prime chance for them to grill Heins about the state of the company awash in technical delays, financial underperformance and an eroding stock price.“This is the one time when shareholders can actually get their voice heard,” said Sameet Kanade, a technology analyst at Northern Securities.“I’d be surprised if there weren’t any backlash.”Much has changed since former co-CEO Jim Balsillie stood before RIM’s stakeholders last July and assured them that RIM’s deteriorating stock price — which had just fallen below $30 a share — was merely in a temporary dip. It has since fallen to well below $10 per share.Last year, Balsillie offered up a series of assurances and timelines that have fallen by the wayside. He told the audience that RIM’s foundation was strong and it was on the verge of its biggest product launch in the company’s history — one that would help it meet its financial guidance for the year.As history has it, RIM didn’t launch those products, and still hasn’t. The BlackBerry 10 operating system and its new line of smartphones have proven to be the biggest hurdle the company has ever faced, with delays pushing the release date until early next year.[np-related]The company’s share of the U.S. smartphone market has also eroded to around 10%.Earlier this year, Balsillie left the company, while co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has also stepped aside and taken a lesser position on the company’s board.RIM’s new leadership has been hurriedly trying to rescue the company’s reputation in hopes that consumers will consider buying another BlackBerry instead of the array of alternatives on the market, such as Apple’s iPhone and a flurry of devices operating on the Android system.The company is also in the midst of an international tour intended to convince application developers to make their software available on the new BB10 system, while CEO Heins has made a few media appearances to answer questions from customers.The annual meeting will be a rare opportunity to connect directly with investors, said Carmi Levy, an independent technology analyst based in London, Ont.“From that perspective it is an important event, especially given the turmoil that the company has incurred over the past year,” he said.However, the meeting is unlikely to result in major changes for RIM, especially since any efforts from shareholders to push for a takeover or other significant changes must be submitted ahead of time.What shareholders should expect, however, is some sort of road map for the next six to eight months as RIM tries to survive through the key smartphone selling period that runs from back-to-school season to the start of holiday shopping.“What people are going to be looking for, at least from the investors, is a short-term and a long-term strategic plan that is credible and that they can achieve,” said Zeus Kerravala, a telecom equipment analyst at ZK Research in Boston.“What I’d be asking for is, give me some indicators to look for in the next few quarters that they’re moving in the right direction.” read more

Global stability at risk without eradicating hunger heads of UN agencies warn

“We believe that, in spite of initially slow progress, it is still possible to achieve the target of the World Food Summit of 1996 to reduce the number of hungry people by 2015,” Catherine A. Bertini, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Lennart Bage, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said in a foreword to a special edition of the publication Working together to fight hunger and poverty 2001.The agency chiefs deplored the lack of resources committed to reducing food insecurity and other manifestations of poverty, as well as the widening gap between rich and poor within and between nations.They noted that the problem of hunger had been largely created by people and could be solved by people. “Most of the solutions are well understood and can be implemented in every country, provided there is sufficient political will on the part of all concerned,” they said. “We see hunger as both a cause and an effect of deep poverty: we believe that unless both hunger and poverty are banished, we cannot lay strong foundations.”Since 1999, the number of beneficiaries reached by joint activities of FAO, IFAD and WFP has quadrupled to almost 9 million people in all regions of the world, according to the forward. read more

Math and Science thesis defence

Biological science student Lucas Maddalena is presenting his thesis defence Thursday, Sept. 22 at 9:30 a.m. in MCC206. His thesis is titled Interactions with bioenergetics by the mitochondria-targeted anti-apoptotic imidazole fatty acid derivative “TPP-IOA.” His examination committee members are: Dr. Alan Castle, Chair; Dr. Jim Ballantyne (University of Guelph), External Examiner; Dr. Jeffrey Stuart, Supervisor; Dr. Jeffrey Atkinson, Supervisor; Dr. Robert Carlone and Dr. Paul Le Blanc, Committee Members. read more

Markus Baur a new coach of TuS NLubbecke

← Previous Story “The best start of the season” – TOP 10: Veszprem and Budućnost rules Next Story → GB sensation: Win over Slovakia! A German player legend, who had disaster at the start of coaching career with TBV Lemgo, Markus Baur (39) is a new coach of TuS N-Lubbecke.  Former playmaker of German national team, with whom, Germany won gold medals at EURO 2004 and WC 2007 will take a lead of solid member of 1. German  Bundesliga.He left TBV Lemgo after bad results at EHF Champions League Wild Card Tournament in season 2009/2010. read more