BlackBerry plans to slash up to 40% of its workforce

by CXOtoday News Desk    Sep 19, 2013

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BlackBerry plans to slash thousands of jobs by the end of this year, according to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report that stated anonymous sources citing that the company could cut up to 40% of its 12,700 employees, across job functions. The report was published right after BlackBerry announced its plans to optimize its business and launched a flagship smartphone as a step towards optimization.

Once a dominant player in the smartphone space, Blackberry is struggling in recent times to revive its market shares to rivals such as Apple, Microsoft and Samsung. WSJ report states that as per unnamed sources Blackberry has earlier warned that job cuts were in the offing.

BlackBerry spokesman Adam Emery however reacted to the report stating: “We will not comment on rumors and speculation.” He mentioned that the company is in the next phase of transformation. Organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities.”

The layoff report came on the same day when BlackBerry unveiled its Z30 smartphone with a 5-inch display, a larger and more attractive phone than its predecessor Z10 that was introduced earlier this year. Blackberry touts the Z30 as its “biggest, fastest and most advanced smartphone till date” even though investors are increasingly becoming nervous about its uncertain future.  

According to a source, BlackBerry could be sold off in parts to private players, exclusing its smartphone business. Some even believe that a sale is now the best option as the industry is uninterested in new BlackBerry devices and its growth trajectory. IDC has also recently indicated BlackBerry’s total share of smartphones will shrink below 3% in all of 2013. Reportedly, about 5,000 BlackBerry workers lost their jobs in 2012 what the company explained as a cost cutting effort. According to some, if another massive layoff takes place, the Canadian company is likely to be on the brink of extinction, at least as a publicly traded company.