BlackBerry may be in the midst of some significant layoffs

The times are a-changing up in Waterloo, and BlackBerry faces a future that looks very different from what the company might have been expecting just a few years back. BlackBerry 10 as a platform is on the way out, and while support’s supposed to continue for time being, everything we’ve heard suggests that BlackBerry’s fate lies in its ability to fully transition over to an Android device maker. And while the company may be in this for the long haul, it might not be bringing all of its employees along with it, as reports roll in of some pretty substantial layoffs.

BlackBerry has yet to make any formal announcement regarding potential firings, but reports we’ve heard thus far suggest that as many as 1,000 of the company’s 2,700 Waterloo employees may be facing the ax. Specifically, the company’s supposed to be targeting staff in its BB10 and devices wings, suggesting not just the inevitable move away from that old platform, but a focus drifting away from hardware in general.

While these Canadian layoffs have yet to be confirmed, we have learned that BlackBerry is in the process of firing at least 75 employees from its operations in southern Florida – a far smaller number than we’re hearing about up north, but possible evidence for an across-the-board reduction in the company’s workforce.

Sometimes layoffs are necessary to streamline a company and ensure its future success. Is that what BlackBerry’s up to here, or could this be a step bringing it closer to its demise?

We’ve reached out to BlackBerry for comment on these reports, and will update this post if we hear anything.

Update: BlackBerry has provided us with the following statement:

As BlackBerry continues to execute its turnaround plan, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce. This means finding new ways to enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities, while driving toward sustainable profitability across all parts of our business. As a result, approximately 200 employees have been impacted in Canada and Florida. It also means that BlackBerry is actively recruiting in those areas of our business that will drive growth. For those employees that have recently left the company, we know that they have worked hard on behalf of our company and we are grateful for their commitment and contributions.

Source: Mobile Syrup, Sun Sentinel

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!