Beleaguered RIM to lay off 2,000 employees, 11% of workforce

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Research in Motion, which has seen its BlackBerry lineup struggle against Apple's iPhone and Google Android, announced on Monday that it will cut 2,000 jobs, or about 10.5 percent of its workforce.



RIM's layoffs, part of the company's "cost optimization program," will bring its total global workforce to about 17,000 people. The company called the reduction a "prudent and necessary step" to take after its workforce has nearly quadrupled in the last five years.



"RIM intends to notify impacted employees and North America and certain other countries this week," the company said in a press release. "The remainder of the global workforce reductions will occur at a later date subject to local laws and regulations. All impacted employees will receive severance packages and outplacement support."



Also on Monday, the company announced a number of adjustments to its senior management team, with Thorsten Heins taking on the expanded role of chief operating officer for the company's Product and Sales division, Patrick Spence becoming managing director of Global Sales and Regional Marketing, and Jim Rowan taking on the expanded role of COO of Operations.



The Canadian smartphone maker also announced that Don Morrison, who is currently on temporary medical leave from his position as COO of BlackBerry, will retire. He has been with the company since 2000.



"We thank Don for his outstanding service to RIM. We understand and respect his decision to retire after successfully dealing with a serious medical challenge and we wish him a quick recovery," RIM's co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, said jointly in a statement. "Don's presence at RIM will be missed, but our senior management and sales teams had already stepped up to manage Don?s responsibilities since the commencement of his medical leave and we're confident in the ability of those teams to continue Don?s tradition of success going forward."



RIM initially announced its plans to initiate layoffs in June, but declined to reveal exactly how much of its workforce would be axed. The company has seen sharply lower profits while its products have struggled against competitors like Apple.







While the iPhone has outsold RIM's BlackBerry line for some time, Apple's handset was said to have passed the BlackBerry in active U.S. smartphone usage in a survey release in June. Even the U.S. government, which had embraced the BlackBerry for years, is said to have turned to Apple and adopted the iPhone and iPad.



RIM's struggles have led for investors to call for a change in leadership at the company. Specifically, co-CEOs Lazaridis and Balsillie have been in the hot seat.



In late June, a high-level executive at the company sent out an open letter which called for radical changes in RIM's strategy and management. It suggested that the current CEOs may need to be replaced for RIM to once again find success.



RIM quickly dismissed the letter, saying it found it "difficult to believe" an executive in good standing at the company would write it. The company also formed a committee that will look into its executive and board roles and make recommendations on a corporate structure.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 78
    curmudgeoncurmudgeon Posts: 483member
    Beleaguered? Was this article written by Paul Thurrott? One of his favorite adjectives.
  • Reply 2 of 78
    bilbo63bilbo63 Posts: 285member
    I've been hoping that RIMM will turn things around. This does not sound good at all.



    Their co-CEO's seem intent to drive the company into the ground. The fish stinks from the head on down.
  • Reply 3 of 78
    applestudapplestud Posts: 367member
    Peace out, RIM. We hardly knew ye.
  • Reply 4 of 78
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,336member
    I hear that Apple stores are hiring... /badtaste
  • Reply 5 of 78
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    So all that yammering a few months about about how well the company was doing was complete BS instead of mostly BS.
  • Reply 6 of 78
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    The people responsible for the downturn of the company gets to keep their job and fire the little people that were not responsible for the direction of the company. You have to just love conservative mentalities.
  • Reply 7 of 78
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post


    I've been hoping that RIMM will turn things around. This does not sound good at all.



    Their co-CEO's seem intent to drive the company into the ground. The fish stinks from the head on down.



    You could just as well be talking about Nokia... what a shame...
  • Reply 8 of 78
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post


    Beleaguered? Was this article written by Paul Thurrott? One of his favorite adjectives.



    Only when he was talking about Apple for most of the 90's and early this century.
  • Reply 9 of 78
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,359member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    You could just as well be talking about Nokia... what a shame...



    Then there is Microsoft ....
  • Reply 10 of 78
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    As a Theoretical Physicist manqué I feel a bit of sadness about the failure of RIM because Lazaridis has done a lot for the subject in founding Perimeter, but it seems like there is no saving RIM - they have a very short window in which to make a huge turn-around and increasingly they don't seem to understand what it would require.



    At any rate they have 2billion in cash and haven't yet gone into the red, so they have a couple of years in which to reboot their business. It's hard to see it happening though.
  • Reply 11 of 78
    bilbo63bilbo63 Posts: 285member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    As a Theoretical Physicist manqué I feel a bit of sadness about the failure of RIM because Lazaridis has done a lot for the subject in founding Perimeter, but it seems like there is no saving RIM - they have a very short window in which to make a huge turn-around and increasingly they don't seem to understand what it would require.



    At any rate they have 2billion in cash and haven't yet gone into the red, so they have a couple of years in which to reboot their business. It's hard to see it happening though.



    Agreed... Well said.
  • Reply 12 of 78
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    I remember another tech company that, in the mid 90s, had a much worse balance sheet and less market share than RIM...
  • Reply 13 of 78
    muncywebmuncyweb Posts: 157member
    To-big-to-fail-alert! Bailout needed!! LOL
  • Reply 14 of 78
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    I remember another tech company that, in the mid 90s, had a much worse balance sheet and less market share than RIM...



    Yes, they turned around when they brought back in the visionary founder, but what do you do when the visionary founders are the probem?
  • Reply 15 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post


    Beleaguered? Was this article written by Paul Thurrott? One of his favorite adjectives.



    I just assumed Dan Dilger wrote it until I looked up and saw it wasn't him, actually.
  • Reply 16 of 78
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,169member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post


    Beleaguered? Was this article written by Paul Thurrott? One of his favorite adjectives.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shunnabunich View Post


    I just assumed Dan Dilger wrote it until I looked up and saw it wasn't him, actually.



    What goes around comes around, payback is a bitch, etc. The word was used gleefully when applied to Apple by EVERYBODY and their brother.
  • Reply 17 of 78
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,169member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    As a Theoretical Physicist manqué I feel a bit of sadness about the failure of RIM because Lazaridis has done a lot for the subject in founding Perimeter, but it seems like there is no saving RIM - they have a very short window in which to make a huge turn-around and increasingly they don't seem to understand what it would require.



    At any rate they have 2billion in cash and haven't yet gone into the red, so they have a couple of years in which to reboot their business. It's hard to see it happening though.



    Steve Jobs did it. Why not these guys?
  • Reply 18 of 78
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post


    Beleaguered? Was this article written by Paul Thurrott? One of his favorite adjectives.



    There isn't really a good alternative word though. You could say 'beset' but that normally comes with a qualification, 'beset by falling sales'. They could say 'beseiged' but it sounds too military, 'troubled' sounds too teenager. How else would you describe a firm that's in a very tough but still conceivably survivable situation?
  • Reply 19 of 78
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Steve Jobs did it. Why not these guys?



    Because Steve wasn't the guy who dug Apple into the pit in the first place, he came in with a completely new vision of how to get out. Could an outsider save RIM? Maybe, but it's hard to think who is available who could achieve it.
  • Reply 20 of 78
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    Steve Jobs did it. Why not these guys?



    The odds really seem to be against them. It could be said that there isn't another Steve Jobs out there to save them, but, then again... who would Rubin be today if Google hadn't bought Android.



    A lot of people have written off Microsoft (in the mobile arena), Nokia, Motorola and RIM... but, it's not like any of these companies don't have the brand recognition and the resources to turn things around... the unexpected can happen at any time.
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