Sixty lose jobs as BlackBerry retrenchment continues

BlackBerry Ltd. today confirmed that 60 more workers were laid off from its Canadian operations as job cuts in the company continue.

The latest group of employees that lost their positions came from BlackBerry’s sales division which is having a part of it moved to the United States.

“We are moving a small number of U.S.-focused sales roles that were based in Canada to the U.S. to be more closely aligned with our customers,” said Lisette Kwong, senior manager of corporate communications for BlackBerry. “As a result, approximately 60 employees have been impacted, primarily in sales.”

She said the layoffs are part of the second phase of BlackBerry’s transformation plan.

Last year, BlackBerry served 5,000 workers with their pink slips. In July, the company let go of 250 workers in its Waterloo, Ont. facility and once more cut 100 positions in the same location a month later.

The company remains in the red registering a loss of $84 million early this year despite revenues of $3 billion. Initial public reception to its new BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 handsets have been encouraging but the company is still trailing behind its arch rival Apple Inc.’s iPhone and a collection of Android-powered smart phones.

News of the cut closely followed earlier reports that Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., BlackBerry’s largest shareholder is finding it hard to sell Canadian pension fund firms into forming a consortium to buyout BlackBerry.

There are also reports that BlackBerry intends to meet with government officials in Ottawa to discuss the Investment Act of Canada which governs the rules covering foreign takeover of Canadian companies.

There have talks earlier this month that a BlackBerry special committee has narrowed its list of potential buyers of the company. Among those being considered, according to the reports are Lenovo Group Ltd., a computer maker based in China, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.



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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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