Almost 10% of Research In Motion Ltd.’s (RIMM) workforce will be showed to the door beginning this week as the company attempts to resuscitate the BlackBerry brand. The company plans to lay off 2,000 employees, bringing its total employee count down to around 17,000 people. RIM did note that its workforce nearly quadrupled in the last five years, but the scale of these job cuts personifies the company’s ongoing struggles.
“The workforce reduction is believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long-term success of the company and it follows an extended period of rapid growth within the company whereby the workforce had nearly quadrupled in the last five years alone,” the company wrote.
“The layoff is not all that surprising. RIM employee headcount has grown dramatically in the past couple of years (including some from acquisitions). There was no doubt overlap. And it’s common for companies, once they run into a glitch, to look at the organization and determine what functions are duplicated or no longer strategic. I think RIM is now doing this, something they didn’t do while growing at breakneck speed,” wrote Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates.
RIM also announced one key executive change. One of the company’s three COOs, Don Morrison, will now retire following a temporary medical leave. The remaining pair of COOs, Jim Rowan and Thorsten Heins will focus on operations and product and sales, respectively.