June 2nd update: Cantech Letter sources are telling us that RIM’s layoffs will not happen until at least mid-June, possibly until after the market close on after the markets close on June 28th, the day RIM will release its Q1, 2013 numbers.
After “Let’s Rock and Roll This!” new Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins’s favourite catch phrase is “laser-focus”. Following this week, it appears the remaining employees at the struggling Waterloo-based BlackBerry maker will need more of the latter than ever.
This past weekend, several reports emerged that RIM would be laying off between 2,000 and 5000 employees, cuts deeper than the ones instituted last summer as RIM’s earnings began to drag. Today, credible sources are saying the cuts could be much deeper.
Reuters reporter Alastair Sharp says a source “…close to the Waterloo, Ont.-based company told Reuters the impending layoffs could hit as many as 6,000 people.”
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The expected cuts, which could come as early as tomorrow, would take RIM to barely 10,000 employees around the world, down from 16,500 last week and from a recent high of near 20,000.
Cantech Letter’s Nick Waddell appeared on CTV News Channel today with Express host Todd van der Heyden and said the impending cutbacks, paired with the resignation of RIM’s head of sales, Patrick Spence, last week mean that new Thorsten Heins is putting his stamp on the company. Waddell said RIM is betting everything on the upcoming release of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system and trying to ensure marketing gaffes like the one that happened earlier this month become a thing of the past.
At the company’s BlackBerry World 2012 Conference in Orlando May 1st, Research in Motion unveiled a prototype of a new BB10 phone that featured a virtual keyboard. At the same time, the company was running ads with the tag line “Imagine typing a thousand emails a day on a touch screen.”
Charged with ensuring mistakes like that won’t happen again will be RIM’s new Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben, who, along with new COO Kristian Tear will begin work later this week. While Tear and Boulben are assured jobs at RIM, who won’t be working there later this week?
According to Cantech Letter sources, a few jobs are still secure. These include any engineer working on BlackBerry 10 and most anyone working in enterprise sales. But who should be looking over their shoulder? According to our sources, these are the areas that will be hit the hardest:
-RIM’s customer service organization
-Most Marketing Jobs
-Non Enterprise Sales.
-RIM’s Global Repair Services, which our sources believe will be outsourced.
Shares of Research in Motion on the TSX today closed up .4% to $11.39.