BlackBerry maker to shed jobs

Research in Motion is said to be planning to axe 2 000 jobs in a major restructuring. By Craig Wilson.

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) is preparing to shed 2 000 of its 16 500-strong global workforce in a large-scale cost-cutting exercise.

This is according to a report in the The Guardian on Monday. The newspaper cites Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper, which claims the information came from people close to RIM who expect the next round of layoffs to take place on 1 June, a day before the end of RIM’s financial quarter.

The troubled mobile device manufacturer has seen a number of top executives leave in the past year, both internationally and in SA.

In April, RIM announced that it had hired a law firm to help it with a company-wide restructuring plan aimed at streamlining the company and reducing costs.

RIM continues to lose BlackBerry users to manufacturers developing smartphones based on Google’s Android operating system and to Apple.

The company has pinned its hopes of arresting the decline in sales on its new operating system, BlackBerry 10, but with the final commercial product only expected later this year, many consumers aren’t hanging around to see if RIM has finally caught-up with — let alone surpassed — its competitors.

Since new CEO Thorsten Heins took the helm in January, the company’s share price has fallen by 24%. Over the past year, it’s down by a staggering 75%, reaching an eight-year low of US$10,59/share last Thursday.

A spokesman for RIM’s operation in SA was unable to comment on whether the anticipated downsizing will affect local staff.  — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media

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