Daily Management Review

With the Aim to Trim Costs, BlackBerry Cuts 200 Jobs in Ontario and Florida


With the Aim to Trim Costs, BlackBerry Cuts 200 Jobs in Ontario and Florida
With the aim of reducing operation costs, BlackBerry Ltd is cutting 200 jobs at its hometown headquarters in Ontario and in Florida, the company said in a statement. The company is now putting more emphasis on its enterprise software business and the smartphone maker is trying to turn around its fortunes.
"As BlackBerry continues to execute its turnaround plan, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce," the company said in an emailed statement.
The percentage of its workforce affected by the cuts was not disclosed by the company. As of February 28, 2015, Blackberry had 6,225 employees according to a filing.
A state government website showed that the layoffs will affect 75 manufacturing jobs in Sunrise, Florida.   
In the latest round of cuts Gary Klassen is one of the people who has departed, the company has also confirmed. Apart from being the inventor of the BBM messaging service of the company,  Klassen was also one of its longest-tenured employees in the company.
Many of the Canadian cuts were people working on its BB10 handset software at its Waterloo, Ontario, headquarters, reported the media quoting sources familiar with the matter but who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.
While admitting that the company stood by its commitment to release further updates on its BB10 software, a spokeswoman for BlackBerry declined to comment on which divisions will be affected by the cuts.
Around 200 employees who had worked on the hardware and design of the BB10 devices were laid off by the company last September. The BB-10 based smartphoone devices which were released in January of 2013 had failed to win back market share from Apple Inc's iPhone as well as the large Android-based devices that dominate the global market range of despite positive reviews.  
BlackBerry released its first Android-based device in November in a final attempt to revive its handset business. This year the company plans to release at least one more Android-based phone, the company said in the statement.
The financial year beginning in late February is very critical for the company as it is slate to make a decision on whether the company's handset business is viable, said BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen.
Enterprise software and more aggressively licensing its trove of patents are the two major areas on which the company is planning and hoping to make a turnaround.
The announcements came after reports by MobileSyrup that stated BlackBerry is cutting 35% of its workforce in its Waterloo headquarters and a report by the Global And Mail that the befallen smartphone maker cut 75 jobs at its Florida manufacturing facility.
The official statement of the company states: “As BlackBerry continues to execute its turnaround plan, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce. This means finding new ways to enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities, while driving toward sustainable profitability across all parts of our business. As a result, approximately 200 employees have been impacted in Canada and Florida. It also means that BlackBerry is actively recruiting in those areas of our business that will drive growth. For those employees that have recently left the company, we know that they have worked hard on behalf of our company and we are grateful for their commitment and contributions.”

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