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BLACKBERRY TO LAY OFF EMPLOYEES

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BLACKBERRY TO LAY OFF EMPLOYEES

May 26 2015, 07.40am GMT

STOCK.com

On Friday, Blackberry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) said that it is laying off employees in the company’s device business including those employees who focus mainly on their smartphone application and software development, but no numbers were disclosed.

The smartphone company said that this is part of a plan to reignite growth by increasing sales of mobile-management & security software with higher margins.

These layoffs, however, come after Blackberry, which employs around 7,000 people world-wide, said in April that it’s considering to close its Sweden offices that would see around 100 employees lose their jobs. On Friday, a spokeswoman from Blackberry declined to confirm whether the Swedish layoffs have been done and if they form part of the recent cuts.

Blackberry’s operations will be impacted globally by the layoffs and highlights the company’s ongoing pressures to keep costs low while it struggles to gain its traditional corporate & government customers after it failed in 2013 to compete against Samsung Electronics Co. (KRX: 005930) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: APPL) in the smartphone consumer market.

However, there is no question over Blackberry’s commitment to the device business, after the company released a whole range of new smartphones in September last year which were targeted at professionals and the company has more planned for later this year. The company, however, is increasingly searching for new mobile software in order to foster worker productivity & security for its own devices.

Despite these efforts, Blackberry’s revenue for its 4th quarter, which ended on February 28, dropped 32% and the company warned that sales from its new key device management software are not expected to increase until the 2nd half of the Ontario based company’s current fiscal year.

In a statement where Blackberry announced its planned layoffs, it said the intentions are to take resources and reallocate them in ways that will enable them to capitalize on growth opportunities better whilst driving to sustainable profitability over all facets of the business.

The company said that it has planned to ramp up marketing and sales efforts, aimed at partnerships & new hires as a part of these efforts.

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