While RIM can’t seem to do anything right as of late, the company has apparently mastered the art of the exit payout.

Just ask former RIM co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, who are set to receive a combined payout of $12 million for agreeing to step down, The Globe and Mail reports.

The lion’s share of that cash goes to Balsillie, who nets $7.9 million in so-called “entitlements”. Lazaridis, who still serves on the RIM board as vice-chairman, gets $3.9 million, not to mention the continued use of a company car and private driver.

But does RIM even have $12 million left?

With Lazaridis and Balsillie at the helm, RIM’s stock value has plunged from $150 to $11, where it sits today. Seventy percent of that value has been lost in the last year alone.

Predictably, it gets worse. Last month, the company halted stock trading, warning investors that it could report an operating loss during its fiscal first quarter this year. Those results come June 28th, and will probably be just as bad as RIM expects.

In all, it’s been a notorious and protracted battle with failure, and, from the outside, it appears that Lazaridis and Balsillie are getting rewarded for it.

RIM, in its defense, says that the former co-CEOs also oversaw some significant growth for the company, which is certainly true

“Messrs. Lazaridis and Balsillie revolutionized the worldwide wireless industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry and forever changed how the world communicates,” the company wrote in its 6K filing on Tuesday.

Revolutionary or not, the RIM of yesteryear is long gone, but, thankfully, so are its former co-CEOs.

Photo: As a huge tsunami wave of gold/Shutterstock

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