RIM Cutting 2,000 Jobs

COO retiring

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) announced on July 25 that it was cutting 2,000 jobs and that its ailing chief operating officer planned to retire.

RIM, which is facing increased competition from Apple's iPhone and mobile phones running Google's Android software, revealed plans last month to slash jobs this quarter in a bid to "streamline operations."

The job cuts amount to just over 10% of the global workforce of the Waterloo, Ontario-based company. The company said it would have around 17,000 employees when the layoffs are complete.

"The workforce reduction is believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long-term success of the company," RIM said. "It follows an extended period of rapid growth within the company whereby the workforce had nearly quadrupled in the last five years alone."

RIM said the financial impact of the job cuts will be disclosed when the company announces its second quarter results on September 15.

RIM also said that chief operating officer Don Morrison, who is on temporary medical leave, planned to retire after more than 10 years with the company. Morrison will be replaced by Thorsten Heins and Jim Rowan, who will split the COO duties.RIM said Heins will be COO for product and sales and would be in charge of the company's hardware and software teams. As COO for operations, Rowan will be responsible for RIM's manufacturing, global supply chain, repair services, organizational development and facilities management.

RIM's most famous product, the BlackBerry, is a favorite of businesses around the world but the company has struggled against the iPhone and Android devices in the consumer space.

A touchscreen tablet computer, the BlackBerry PlayBook, released in April to compete with Apple's popular iPad, received desultory initial reviews.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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