BlackBerry Lays Off 250 More Employees

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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More BlackBerry job cuts follow poor quarterly results

BlackBerry has laid off 250 employees as part of CEO Thorsten Heins’ “three stage” recovery plan to reduce costs and return the company to profitability.

The employees affected are believed to be in the company’s new product testing unit, a team which supports its manufacturing and research and development operations at its Waterloo, Ontario headquarters, according to Reuters.

BlackBerry, which currently has around 2,700 employees, has cut thousands of jobs in the last few years after seeing its share of the global smartphone market slide dramatically in the face of competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung.

BlackBerry job cuts

BlackBerry Z10 HandExecutives have not been immune to the Canadian manufacturer’s struggles. Earlier this week, it emerged David J Smith, the man responsible for the BlackBerry PlayBook was leaving the company, not long after it was revealed the tablet would not receive an upgrade to BlackBerry 10, effectively ending support for the device.

BlackBerry’s focus appears to be on its smartphone business, but the introduction of devices running BlackBerry 10 has failed to revive its ailing fortunes and the company posted a £55 million loss in the first quarter of its fiscal 2014.

This has led many investors to question its ability to stage a revival, but Heins has called for patience as he implements his recovery program.

He rejected suggestions the BlackBerry 10 launch had been a disaster, but admitted lessons have been learned and that the firm is facing an “uphill battle” in a very competitive market.

Some investors are contemplating the idea of a sale of the company or some of its businesses. BlackBerry’s valuable patent portfolio and high-margin service business could be attractive to potential suitors.

BlackBerry has already announced BlackBerry Secure Work Space, a mobile device management offering that allows businesses to secure iOS and Android handsets in a BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES) environment, while it also has plans to launch a cross-platform version of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) this summer.

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