by Al Sacco

BlackBerry Job Cuts Continue; RIM to Drop 2,000 More Staffers

Jul 25, 20112 mins
MobileSmall and Medium BusinessSmartphones

RIM will lay off 2,000 more employees, or about 10 percent of its total workforce, within the coming weeks as part of an ongoing "cost optimization program."

One month ago, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) announced its first round of layoffs as part of an ongoing “cost optimization program,” in the form of 200 jobs cuts in and around its Waterloo, Ontario, headquarters. The move was meant to help the company better position itself for future competition with rivals in the handset space, including Apple and Google.

Research In Motion (RIM) Headquarters
Research In Motion (RIM) Headquarters

Now it looks like those 200 pink slips were only the start of RIM’s job reductions; the Canadian company today announced a new round of layoffs, with more 2,000 job cuts, or approximately 10 percent of its global workforce expected to be dropped, leaving RIM with roughly 17,000 total staffers.

From RIM:

“RIM today provided further details on its cost optimization program, which is focused on eliminating redundancies and reallocating resources to focus on areas that offer the highest growth opportunities and alignment with RIM’s strategic objectives.

“As part of this broad effort, RIM is reducing its global workforce across all functions by approximately 2,000 employees. RIM intends to notify impacted employees in North America and certain other countries this week. 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. “

RIM says it will share more financial details of these recent layoffs and other components of its cost cutting efforts when the company reports its second quarter 2012 fiscal results on September 15.

In related news, RIM’s long-time COO Don Morrison, who is currently out of work on medical leave, will be exiting the company. Morrison is the latest in a growing line of high-level RIM staffers to depart in recent days. Ryan Bidan, former senior BlackBerry PlayBook product manager, and the company’s ex-CMO Keith Pardy, also recently left RIM.

This is certainly a sad day for RIM and its staff, but hopefully the cuts will help the company in the long run. It’s also worth noting that the “remainder” of cuts is still coming, so an additional undetermined amount of RIM staffers will also find themselves jobless in the not so distant future.

I do, however, still see a number of good reasons to keep the faith in RIM and BlackBerry.