BlackBerry to Cut 4,500 Jobs

Embattled Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry revealed Friday that it will cut 4,500 jobs -- or 40 percent of its workforce -- and drop two smartphone models as it tries to lower costs.

BlackBerry -- formerly Research In Motion -- revealed on Friday afternoon that it will be posting a net operating loss of approximately $950 million to $995 million for its fiscal second quarter. The loss is down to unsold phone inventory and a restructuring charge of $72 million.

BlackBerry has not yet said when or where it will specifically cut jobs.The company's stated aim, however, is a cost reduction of 50 percent by the first quarter of 2015.

The company also announced that it will slim down its future smartphone offerings from six devices to four. The portfolio will focus on enterprise and so-called "prosumer" devices, including two high-end devices and two entry-level models in all-touch and full-keyboard versions.

On top of all that, BlackBerry's special committee of the board continues to evaluate strategic alternatives, which include a possible sale of the company.

After pinning its hopes for a revival on the series 10 models, BlackBerry continues to be crushed by iPhone and Android phones in the marketplace. BlackBerry already slashed jobs in 2012 as it struggled to deliver a new operating system and devices.

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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jhodgesk1s 9/25/2013 | 10:12:52 AM
Re: Bye Bye Blackberry Benoit, totally agree. The impact in Ottawa will also be signficant, since many of my ex-Nortel colleagues were able to find jobs with BB a fews years ago. There will definitely be less traffic on March Road.
Benoit Mercier 9/25/2013 | 8:24:45 AM
Re: Bye Bye Blackberry It's not just Waterloo, it's the whole Canadian hi-tech industry that will suffer. First Nortel, now Blackberry, who's left??
DOShea 9/23/2013 | 5:38:32 PM
Re: Buyer? Although, now that they have a deal to go private http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=705776& things could be worse... right?
albreznick 9/23/2013 | 5:24:30 PM
Re: Buyer? Good question, Dan. The easy answer? Too much.
albreznick 9/23/2013 | 5:22:51 PM
Bye Bye Blackberry The Silicom Valley of Canada will never be the same. This Waterloo-based company has met its personal Waterloo. And Waterloo, ON is going to suffer big yime.
DanJones 9/23/2013 | 12:01:14 PM
Re: Buyer? Although how much of the US government still uses BlackBerrys? 
Sarah Thomas 9/23/2013 | 10:49:49 AM
Re: Layoff should help w/ being acquired That was my same thought when I heard about the news last week. There's no way BlackBerry will still be a device maker this time next year. My boyfriend wanted to buy the new Q10, but I told him not to since the OS may not be supported much longer.

I'm not sure who the natural acquirer would be. Maybe a PE firm that likes distressed buys?

DanJones 9/23/2013 | 10:39:37 AM
Re: Buyer? I still think Microsoft would be the most likely buyer for the software side anyway.
kaop 9/22/2013 | 10:25:49 PM
Layoff should help w/ being acquired BlackBerry pretty much throw in the towel by announcing the job cuts.  Which IT manager is willing to risk his/her reputation by commiting to a platform that may not exist in a year.  The layoff should make them more attractive to buyers who specifically interested in patents rather than saving the phone business.
chuckj 9/21/2013 | 12:07:27 AM
Satellite phones Maybe they can produce the first smart satellite phone. They would be able to charge a premium for that.
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