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BlackBerry Axes 250, Tablet Lead EVP Leaves

It's another round of layoffs for the struggling handset maker as it cuts 250 from its R&D department

Sarah Thomas

July 25, 2013

1 Min Read
BlackBerry Axes 250, Tablet Lead EVP Leaves

BlackBerry has laid off 250 people from its New Product Testing Facility as part of its ongoing turnaround efforts, the company confirmed Thursday.

This is the second round of cuts for the struggling device maker, following a much larger restructuring that included 5,000 layoffs last year. BlackBerry confirmed the cuts to the Waterloo, Ont., facility that supports BlackBerry's manufacturing and R&D efforts in a statement to AllThingsD, noting that "this is part of the next stage of our turnaround plan to increase efficiencies and scale our company correctly for new opportunities in mobile computing."

Just prior to the cuts, BlackBerry's tablet lead EVP David Smith also announced he was resigning the company. Once the company formerly known as RIM said it would no longer support its PlayBook tablet, his job may have become a little less necessary. The company also recently lost its U.S. sales chief and two executives in charge of social media and contracts.

BlackBerry is tying its hope of turnaround to its BlackBerry 10 operating system and a renewed focus on services, but it's been tough going. The company only shipped 2.7 million BB10 devices to carriers in their first full quarter on the market and reported weak earnings causing its a 28 percent drop in its share price. (See BlackBerry Hopes Services Will Be its Savoir.) — Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor,Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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