BlackBerry to cut more jobs globally as it continues battle to streamline

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Ever determined to rejuvenate its once mighty mobile business following several years of rapid decline, BlackBerry said over the weekend it’s decided to cut more jobs at its locations around the world.

It’s not clear how many positions are set to go, though it’s understood the move will affect its hardware, software and applications departments.

“As the company moves into its next stage of the turnaround, our intention is to reallocate resources in ways that will best enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities while driving toward sustainable profitability across all facets of our business,” the Canadian company told the AFP news agency.

Back in 2011, BlackBerry employed some 17,000 people globally, but a plummeting market share – the result of company blunders and tough competition from Android and Apple’s smartphones – forced it to make massive cuts in the intervening years, leaving it with a workforce that currently stands at around 7,000.

After joining the BlackBerry in 2013, CEO John Chen quickly made clear he wanted the company to focus more on winning back its former enterprise customers with revamped security and mobile management software compatible with not only BlackBerry devices, but iPhones and Android handsets, too.

BlackBerry has also continued to push out a number of new handsets aimed specifically at enterprise users, though recent reports suggest sales have been sluggish.

The latest round of job losses signal the severity of the ongoing challenges faced by the Waterloo, Ontario company as it continues to streamline its operations in a bid to boost profits.

Optimists with a soft spot for the company will, however, point to recent quarterly financial figures that saw BlackBerry report a surprise profit, though year-on-year revenue for the three-month period ending February 28 fell by 32 percent.

“We are now halfway through our two-year turnaround effort and….our financial house is in order,” Chen said back in March following the publication of the figures, at the same time insisting, “Our financial viability is no longer in question.”


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