BlackBerry Maker RIM to Lay Off 2,000 More Workers

Dennis Faas's picture

Things aren't getting any easier for BlackBerry smartphone maker Research in Motion (RIM). With its new products experiencing repeated delays, the Canadian firm continues to struggle to maintain a viable presence in the mobile market.

Now, there's word the company has decided to lay off 2,000 of its workers worldwide.

This is the second time RIM has been forced to execute significant lay offs. Last summer the company cut about the same number of workers, most of whom were based at the company's headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Executive Restructuring Fails to Stop Bleeding

RIM's upper echelons have also suffered their share of restructuring. Earlier this year the firm ousted long-time co-chief executive officers Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, moving in Thorsten Heins to replace them.

Since then, there has been a flood of former executives leaving RIM's premises, including Head of Global Sales Patrick Spence, last week.

It's estimated that RIM still employs roughly 16,500 employees around the world.

The new layoffs remain only a rumor, at this point. The Toronto-based Globe and Mail newspaper reports that "several people close to the company" had indicated major layoffs are forthcoming. (Source:

All Departments Affected by Layoffs: Report

The Globe also reports the layoffs "will sweep across departments, ranging from senior positions in RIM's legal division to human resources, finance, sales, and marketing."

Some observers believe the cutbacks will take effect by June 1, 2012, one day before the end of RIM's first quarter.

Although RIM hasn't publicly admitted to these cuts, there's plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest that additional layoffs are in the pipeline. Less than two months ago, CEO Heins noted that "It's clear to me substantial change is what we need." (Source:

RIM then went on to report an astounding 80 per cent drop in BlackBerry shipments, year over year. In comparison, rival Apple and Android smartphones continue to fly off store shelves.

Even if RIM can stop the bleeding, it will need its next round of smartphones, running on its upcoming BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system, to be a major success. Experts believe RIM's new software and hardware will become available in the fall of 2012.

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