Why not lionize Canada’s captains of industry? Here’s why
Friday’s cover story in the Globe’s Report on Business magazine is a laudatory profile of Mike Lazaridis—the co-founder of RIM Ltd., manufacturer of the ubiquitous BlackBerry. The piece tells us that Lazaridis’s personal fortune is $3.6 billion and that the company’s market value is $67 billion on revenue of $6 billion last year. Despite this, the profiler (David Fielding) never mentions the fact that RIM has been the subject of an SEC investigation into backdating stock options—hardly a small detail, considering the investigation led to Lazaridis’s partner Jim Balsillie stepping down as chairman last year. Efforts to establish whether the SEC investigation is ongoing proved fruitless. The SEC, as a matter of principle, will not comment. RIM has yet to respond to our inquiries.
Canadian business types are forever bellyaching that our press fails to lionize capitalist titans the way they do in the States. But there’s a flip side. No matter how flattering the feature in an American publication, an SEC investigation would never be overlooked as immaterial. You can’t, or at least shouldn’t, have it both ways.
• Leaps of faith [Globe and Mail]• RIM stumbles as it faces wider SEC probe [Globe and Mail]• Research In Motion Shares Fall After Revenue Trails [Bloomberg]• The trouble with RIM’s options [Canadian Business]