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BlackBerry Set to Layoff 40 Percent of Its Workforce, Says Report

by Brandon Russell | September 18, 2013September 18, 2013 12:30 pm PST

BlackBerry Q10-Battery 2

Sources close to BlackBerry’s plans claim the Waterloo company is going to layoff up to 40 percent of its workforce. Via the Wall Street Journal, the cuts will allegedly affect departments across the board, and likely occur in waves at the end of this year—just in time for the holidays. With takeover talks heating up, it appears BlackBerry is ready to trim some fat before an acquisition officially happens.

While BlackBerry declined to comment on the 40 percent number, a company spokesperson told the WSJ BlackBerry is always looking to ensure it has “the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities in mobile computing.” As of March, BlackBerry had just under 13,000 employees; the company hasn’t disclosed numbers since then, so it could very well be less. Just two years ago, the company had upwards of 17,000 workers, highlighting BlackBerry’s sharp decline since reaching its peak man years ago.

Despite introducing a revamped OS and a handful of new devices, the company has failed to recoup lost subscribers, and has in fact lost many more this year. The combined muscle of iOS and Android has had a noticeable impact on BlackBerry’s bottom line—the company posted an $84 million loss in the previous quarter—so layoffs really shouldn’t be a surprise. Will a leaner BlackBerry mean a more focused future?

BlackBerry on Wednesday announced a brand new phablet device set to do battle with some of today’s top handsets this holiday season, but that likely won’t be enough to nudge in to what will be a very competitive quarter for iOS and Android devices. Getting rid off up to 40 percent of staff is huge, and could indicate that BlackBerry is ready to call it a day. The next few months will likely be very important for the company’s future, and BlackBerry as we know it may not even exist if an acquisition happens.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.