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BlackBerry cuts jobs, shifts employees as part of turnaround plan

BlackBerry has shed thousands of jobs since it began restructuring operations


 
Trashed Blackberry phones sit in a bucket during the NBC Today Show in New York April 21, 2008. The phones were to be used by students in an art piece and then recycled for Green Week. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Trashed Blackberry phones sit in a bucket during the NBC Today Show in New York April 21, 2008. The phones were to be used by students in an art piece and then recycled for Green Week. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

TORONTO – Another round of jobs cuts has been levelled on staff at BlackBerry Ltd. as it deals with weak smartphone sales and pushes ahead with a turnaround plan.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company declined on Tuesday to disclose how many employees were affected in the latest changes, but said that some were shifted to different roles while others were laid off.

It said the move is part of a plan to reallocate certain resources to help grow its operations.

BlackBerry has shed thousands of jobs since it began restructuring operations under chief executive John Chen, who has focused on shifting the company’s priorities since he joined in November 2013.

At the peak of its success, BlackBerry had about 20,000 employees across the world, but its failure to innovate against some formidable competitors, including Apple and Samsung, left the company slashing its operations in an effort to contain costs.

In its most recent annual filings, BlackBerry said it had 6,225 full-time global employees as of Feb. 28.

Since then, the company has made further cuts to its operations.

Earlier this year, it laid off an unspecified number of employees who made the hardware, software and applications for its phones.

The changes have meant that most of BlackBerry’s staff is centred around the company’s headquarters in Waterloo, Ottawa and the Toronto area.

Last month, Chen said he was “looking at every single function” within its operations in an effort to further reduce costs.

Many of those changes have been focused on outsourcing the company’s smartphone development and manufacturing.

Related: Blackberry blow-up: How a leadership rift ripped RIM apart


 
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