BlackBerry cuts 2,000 jobs

July 25th, 2011 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, July 25 (IANS) In a massive layoff, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) Monday announced it was axing 2,000 employees.

The unprecedented decision comes a month after the top Canadian technology company issued pink slips to 200 `manufacturing’ employees at its headquarters at Waterloo near Toronto.

Monday’s lay-offs account for over 10 percent of RIM’s total workforce around the world. It is the biggest lay-off in the history of the company which invented the smart phone.

With Monday’s job cuts, RIM’s global employees will now number about 17,000.

The decision come amid RIM’s declining market share, shrinking revenue, profit warnings and delays in replacing the aging handsets.

“The work force reduction is believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company. It follows an extended period of rapid growth within the company, whereby the work force had nearly quadrupled in the last five years alone,” BlackBerry said in a statement.

Most of those laid off are in North America. RIM said the affected employees will be notified later this week according to local laws and hefty severance packages will have to be paid to them.

The company said the layoffs are part of its cost optimization programme.
The whole restructuring may cost RIM $200-250 million, according to estimates.

RIM has lost the top position to iPhone and Google Android devices in the North American smart phone market. Its attempt to play catch-up with Apple in the tablet market by launching the PlayBook in Apple has failed.

RIM stock has sunk about 60 percent this year, reducing its market worth to less than $14 billion from a whopping $83 billion just over two years ago.

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