BlackBerry restructure continues amid takeover speculation
BlackBerry has reportedly laid off “several dozens” of its US-based sales team as part of an ongoing restructure of the struggling Canadian smartphone manufacturer.
BlackBerry has slashed 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.
The company confirmed the layoffs to the Wall Street Journal , but did not specify how many people were affected. The cuts were not unexpected as BlackBerry’s sales chief was sacked in July amid warnings there could be more positions lost as CEO Thorsten Heins continued to implement his “three stage” recovery plan to restore the firm to profitability.
Several high-profile executives have fallen foul of this restructure, but Heins’ roadmap appears to have been halted by the failure of smartphones running BlackBerry 10 to revive the company’s fortunes significantly.
This has led to the firm to consider putting itself up for sale as it evaluates its strategic options going forward. BlackBerry’s largest shareholder Fairfax Holdings has been linked with a takeover in recent days, although a deal is some way from being concluded.
It has been suggested BlackBerry’s patent portfolio is its most valuable asset and could be worth up to $5 billion if sold to a single party. The company’s subscriber base could also be attractive to a number of companies. Despite shrinking to 72 million subscribers, BlackBerry still has 20 million lucrative enterprise or corporate users.
Also in BlackBerry’s favour is that it owns most of its facilities and has already spent a significant amount of money on restructuring and redundancies. However some analysts see next to no value in the flagging handset businesses and even estimate it would cost close to $2 billion to shut down.
BlackBerry has had a bumpy year? Try our 2013 BlackBerry quiz!