RIM cuts workforce by 10 per cent

Despite signing a number of high-profile licensing agreements last week, Waterloo, Ont.-based Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) announced Tuesday that it would be streamlining its operations in order to achieve its goal of profitability.

The company said it will be reducing its total workforce by approximately 10 per cent. It will also decrease its discretionary spending.

“Following five years of rapid organizational growth and investment that allowed RIM to capitalize on its innovation and entrench its position in the wireless enterprise sector, we are ready to address the expanding 2.5G wireless market opportunity with proven technologies, global partnerships and strong business momentum,” said Jim Balsillie, chairman and co-CEO at RIM is a statement issued Tuesday. “In order to solidify our position and achieve our financial targets, we are moving ahead with a difficult, yet strategically important, decision to tighten operational efficiencies and adjust our current staffing level. We believe this streamlining will prove to be a prudent move for RIM in both the near-term and the long-term.”

RIM last week signed licensing agreements for its keyboard technology with Handspring Inc. on Nov. 5 and Palm Inc. on Nov. 7. It also announced a licensing deal with Nokia Corp. on Nov. 8 for its wireless e-mail software. [Please see Handspring to license RIM keyboards, Palm licenses RIM keyboard technology and RIM signs another deal.]

RIM is most recognized for its BlackBerry software, which supports enterprise requirements such as security, back-end integration and push-based wireless applications. The software is also used in the company’s popular BlackBerry handheld wireless devices, which are sold in the U.S., Australia, Hong Kong, Europe as well as Canada.

For details, visit the company’s Web site at www.rim.com.