Canada's RIM to cut at least 2000 jobs: report

Sat May 26, 2012 11:09am EDT
 
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Research In Motion Ltd RIM.TO is preparing for a major restructuring beginning in the next couple of weeks that will see it eliminate at least 2,000 jobs worldwide, the Globe and Mail reported on Saturday, citing unnamed sources.

The Canadian newspaper, citing several people close to the company, reported that the next round is layoffs is said to be planned for around June 1 - a day before the BlackBerry smartphone maker's first quarter ends - but some expect the announcement even earlier.

One source close to the company told Reuters the impending layoffs could hit as many as 6,000 people and affect RIM's legal, marketing, sales, operations, and human resources divisions.

"The strategic question is: are you accelerating into a better future or shrinking to a niche operation," said the source, who declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the job cuts.

A RIM spokeswoman contacted by Reuters declined to comment on the report.

But she pointed to comments that new Chief Executive Thorsten Heins and Chief Financial Officer Brian Bidulka made on RIM's last earnings call about plans to streamline operations and save $1 billion in the fiscal year.

The spokeswoman said RIM now has about 16,500 staff globally. This is down from a peak closer to 20,000.

RIM reported a fourth-quarter loss in March, when the new CEO announced the initial steps in a strategic overhaul. Heins took over from longtime co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie in January.   Continued...

 
A logo of the Blackberry maker's Research in Motion is seen on a building at the RIM Technology Park in Waterloo April 18, 2012. Picture taken April 18, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch