BlackBerry Plans Worldwide Job Cuts

The company said the redundancies are part of its efforts to refocus on security and management tools

Canadian mobile technology maker BlackBerry said late on Friday it plans to cut an undisclosed number of staff across its worldwide operations, as it continues to refocus on corporate and government customers.

The company didn’t specify how many employees it expected to lay off, but said in a statement that the move is part of a wider shift in its strategy.
<hBlackBerry Logo2>’Reallocating resources’

“Our intention is to reallocate resources in ways that will best enable us to capitalise on growth opportunities while driving toward sustainable profitability across all facets of our business,” BlackBerry said in a statement announcing the redundancies.

Following a failed 2013 effort to compete against the likes of Apple and Samsung in the consumer smartphone market, BlackBerry has been reorganising around software for mobile device management and security, aimed at businesses and government bodies, markets in which it has previously held a strong position.

The influx of iOS and Android-powered devices into corporate and government organisations, often brought in by employees, has caused concern over the difficulty of maintaining the security of sensitive data and of managing a diverse body of mobile hardware and software, areas in which BlackBerry has argued it has an edge over its rivals.

BlackBerry’s new software is capable of managing iOS and Android devices as well as its own handsets.

In April the company launched an initiative aimed at securing “Internet of Things” devices, part of a broader effort to manage “anything with an IP (address)”.

Swedish office closure

The company said the layoffs would affect its device business, including its smartphone software development operations. As of February BlackBerry had about 6,225 full-time employees, according to its website.

BlackBerry said in April it was considering closing its offices in Sweden, at the cost of 100 jobs. The company didn’t say whether that possibility was part of the latest job-cutting plan.

The company’s revenue fell 32 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, ended 28 February, and it said it didn’t expect its flagship device management software, launched in November, to begin generating higher sales until the second half of its current fiscal year.

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