RIM execs sell off shares for charity

The top two execs at Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion announced Friday they will sell a portion of their shares and together donate over $100 million to charitable and educational initiatives.

CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis are able to make such donations after the BlackBerry maker changed its inside trading policies and ultimately, the rules on how executives can dispose or sell company stock. The changes now allow for some executives to adopt automatic disposition plans for selling shares in the company, which means the stock is sold regardless of any material, non-public information insiders may receive at a later date.

Balsillie plans to donate $38 million in shares to charity and sell off another $86 million, while Lazaridis will give $75 million to charity and selling off $100 million. Six other RIM executives are following suit, with some adding to a total charitable donation of around $150 million.

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