Research in Motion to lay off 2,000 employees

Research in Motion, the makers of the once popular Blackberry smartphone and more recently the Blackberry Playbook tablet, has announced that it will lay off about 2,000 of its employees. A press release from the company this morning revealed the bad news. Employees that are affected in North America will be informed sometime this week, while team members in other parts of the world will be let go "at a later date".  The number of employees that are affected represent about 11 percent of RIM's total workforce. Once the layoffs are complete, the company will have about 17,000 employees. The layoffs are not yet included in RIM's future financial predictions.

RIM refers to to the layoffs in the press release as a "cost optimization program", stating, "The workforce reduction is believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company and it follows an extended period of rapid growth within the company whereby the workforce had nearly quadrupled in the last five years alone."

Research in Motion once had a large chuck of the smartphone market thanks to the success of its Blackberry line of phones. The products were particularly popular with businesses users and travelers. However, the rise in popularity of Apple's iPhone and smartphones based on Google's Android operating system over the past couple of years have eaten into Blackberry's market share. In addition, the launch earlier this year of RIM's Playbook tablet device has been met with mixed reviews and poor sales.

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21 Comments

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srprimeaux said,
I feel so bad for those people, man. Especially in this economy.

Why?
They're smart people. They will find something that works for them.

Heck, some of them may even become the next big startup.

Look at it as a positive.

dotf said,

Why?
They're smart people. They will find something that works for them.

Heck, some of them may even become the next big startup.

Look at it as a positive.

I'm being realistic. I know a lot of smart people who are struggling to find employment.

*sigh* Not a year ago RIM was one of the few companies for which people were shoving themselves to get a job at here in Eastern Canada and now people can't leave faster. I remember when you were looked up to if you had a job there. The last good Canadian IT firm is on shaky ground and will most likely collapse if they continue to drive it into the ground. What they need is new leadership and not just a new CEO but a new CFO and major strategy overhaul.

Going after the consumer market was taboo for RIM but even worse, going after the consumer market with corporate strategies was a big mistake. They could not meet the modern demands of consumers and while the "I have a business-grade phone" bit was cool for awhile, people stopped caring and moved onto phones that then can have fun with. Most consumers could not care less about exchange support, IT policies and don't even know what BlackBerry Enterprise Server is (nor do they care) and they shouldn't have to. RIM has been pitching these 2 ideas to consumers in hopes they would attract them but, and don't flame me for this, most consumers aren't tech-literate enough to benefit from the corporate features.

The one thing that sells the iPhone and Android devices is their app store. The iPhone is a pretty lousy phone with reception issues, battery life which is horrible and mediocre audio quality but people love it because it's fun to use due to its fluid, modern interface and great apps.

Blackberry was a weird concept. Outside the US, phones has full querty keyboards for some time. I often wonder how the USA can be called the top technology country when old ideas seem new there.

Iridium said,
Blackberry was a weird concept. Outside the US, phones has full querty keyboards for some time. I often wonder how the USA can be called the top technology country when old ideas seem new there.

RIM are Canadian

SpyCatcher said,
If RIM layed off one of thier two CEO's they would ba able to save those 2000 jobs.

True but you still need those CEOs, because who else is going to take stupid decisions and fire people if you don't have any CEOs anymore?

good riddons. my whole company uses RIM and the amount of devices we get back that are broken or have issues is a joke. Plus you need a server to connect to exchange + licences! DIE RIM DIE!!

tomcoleman said,
good riddons. my whole company uses RIM and the amount of devices we get back that are broken or have issues is a joke. Plus you need a server to connect to exchange + licences! DIE RIM DIE!!

Cool bro, can't wait until someone says the same thing about your company Seems like you should be blaming your management and not the product your management chose to use.

(also, riddons???)

tomcoleman said,
good riddons
LOL!!

But seriously, I do agree with you on the whole BES vs BIS vs extra licenses and increased monthly fee's. I mean, seriously RIM. Your competition is killing you and you stick with these antiquated outdated business models that may have been successful in the early 2000's but not today.

The fact you have to pay the increased monthly fee's to access a BES server plus the fact you can only use on Exchange account were the final nails in the coffin as far as I was concerned. I switched and I'm much happier. My BB Storm had nothing on my iPhone 4 in terms of performance let alone the millions of other points - apps, support, features, "cool factor", etc.