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BlackBerry restructuring now 'completed' according to leaked memo

John Chen
By Alex Dobie on 5 Aug 2014 04:29 am EDT
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BlackBerry's three-year-long internal restructuring process is now "completed," according to a leaked memo obtained by Reuters, and the company could soon begin hiring again in some areas. The memo, sent by CEO John Chen to all employees, reads "We have completed the restructuring notification process, and the workforce reduction that began three years ago is now behind us."

"More importantly, barring any unexpected downturns in the market, we will be adding headcount in certain areas such as product development, sales and customer service, beginning in modest numbers." The prospect of BlackBerry beginning to take on new employees follows a series of job cuts over the past year, the most significant of which laid off around 4,600 employees.

The news comes eight months into the tenure of Chen, who recently expressed confidence that BlackBerry could break even in its current fiscal year, and become profitable in the next.

What does the end of BlackBerry's "restructuring" period mean for the company and BlackBerry fans? Sound off in the comments and share your thoughts.

Source: Reuters

Reader comments

BlackBerry restructuring now 'completed' according to leaked memo

192 Comments

But we should not forget Thorsten Heins did a lot of effort for requesting blackberry. He was so clever CEO.

Posted via CB10

They all did some good (and bad) for the company, but I agree with you. Easy to shun the right moves of a past CEO when things go sour.

Jim & Mike, for all the bad moves, bought QNX. Heins gave us BB10/BES10 which is the tool Chen needed to turn the ship around.

You will not be forgotten, CEOs long gone.

True, and let's not forget that Heins had to get most on the blood on his hands by firing people and selling off buildings. His role was to reduce costs and I'd say he did it.

The typical freshly-minted MBA with no real world business experience could have slashed and burned the company for a fraction of the salary and benefits paid to Herr Heins. John Chen came on-board after the "strategic restructuring" plan was approved and activated so he at least doesn't have that taint on his hands. The future of BlackBerry remains unsettled but at this point senior management cannot blame the employees or previous decisions or even "shifting market forces." The next five years are crucial.

Actually they forgot about that leak department

Visit GTR Lifestyle @ [URL="bbmc:C001247FA"]C001247FA[/URL]

Looking at the number of leaks coming out recently, that department is either heavily downsized or closed.

Posted via CB10

Is CrackBerry Kevin no longer with CrackBerry? Did he go the way of the Ashley Esqueda? (not an unpleasant direction to go in, mind you)

Posted via CB10

Kévin had two jobs. Chief of CB and above that, Chief of Mobile Nations.

He is now "just" chief of Mobile Nations.

Ashley on th either hand left Mobile Nations.

Posted via CB10

I agree. Though we know they were talking about this particular process here.
Btw, the hiring process started already as I have seen job posts on LinkedIn for different sales positions here in Latam.

Posted via CB10

I think they will always change, but the real "blood letting" has ended. He needs to tell people that they don't need to worry so much about being part of big layoffs. Employees are not as productive if they are constantly worried about their job for no reason under their direct control.

Posted via CB10

Hopefully inspires confidence in the brand, especially for the employees not having that hanging over their heads. I worked for Cummins Power for many years and we had threats of redundancies for over two years, a lot of stress and strain will be removed by this announcement I'm sure :)

Weapon of choice Z30 til the passport is here :)

Same here. Got hired by Cummins Power Generation and that year they started announcing layoffs every year until I got my number three years later. By that point I was already putting feelers out because it was hard to focus on doing good work when you are more concerned about keeping your job.

Posted via CB10

And a regional office in Kenya (East Africa) isn't too much to ask now is it? Samsung and Techno rule this place with their 'uglified' droids

Nairobi is the financial hub for the country (and region), the biggest city in the country. Lot's of multi-national companies here. And quite a respectable blackberry constituency, using BB curves and Bolds sadly. I think it could make sense to them.

Chen is waiting for US President Barack Obama to leave the White House before announcing Obama will be heading BlackBerry's Kenyan office. Apparently his "Hope and Change" campaign caught Chen's eye. ;-) Sorry the opportunity for humour was too great to resist.

Hehe. All his tribesmen (the Luo), all of them, about a million, would own a Passport, and Passport 2 (5.5 sq inches!). That's CHENomenal, right? Right now they own passports that get them traveling to USA.

Good for them... and this might give the employees a little confidence and stability again...

Posted via CB10

It will give them that. Workforce reductions were a dark cloud hanging over their heads for three years. Imagine going to work every day not knowing if you'll be sent home. They likely had a lot of good talent voluntarily leave during that time.

It hit this morning's Globe and Mail ( Canada's national newspaper) in a good article

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

It means BlackBerry is back! Full steam ahead!

And those positions for hire is just what BlackBerry needs. Product development, SALES (hopefully meaning marketing too), customer support!

Differentiate or Die

The customer support part is exciting. I hope they shift to a BlackBerry will take care if you personally if you ate in warranty stance. Regardless of where the phone was bought. The way they handled PlayBook warranties was sooooo awesome.

Posted via CB10

They need Apple like support. Bring old phone say it's battery isn't charging apple gives you a new phone. With BlackBerry I had to give to Rogers and they waste like 3 weeks.

Posted via CB10

Apple-like support is paid by the consumer when the phone is bought... are you ready to pay a Passport 950USD?

Posted via CB10

It'll be interesting to see if beefing up sales will be in carrier/consumer or enterprise. BlackBerry is at a critical point where John Chen must salvage carrier relations if they are to maintain their retail presence.

Yeah BlackBerry comes back... let us all hope the Passport will be a good device and a success :) other way there will come dark clouds back to BlackBerry... because in my opinion the Classic alone cannot rescue BlackBerry... okay the z3 is also there... but BlackBerry definitely needs a new full touchscreen device with high end Hardware in it... -> an Samsung killer... because the Apple fans are often hardcore guys... who will stay @apple :)

-> let us all hope the best!!! I love my z30... and only a Windows Phone would be an option for me ;)

I didn't like the passport at first but it's oddness has grown on me. That and it's battery. Maybe it's also 10.3 haha

Posted via CB10

Remember, just 10 millions phones a year and the cellphone business will be profitable. That's not really hard to accomplish ;)

Posted via CB10

The restructuring started 3 yrs ago has completed, and it doesnt mean no change of strategy in future, hence continous restructure, refocus as per market/industry demand. Mobile comms or rather hi-tech company operate in a very dynamic industry, need to keep alert all the time

Posted via CB10

Alright now, BlackBerry!

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  ) new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The Thor's Hammer of phones! Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile. Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! #longestsignatureeverthatishortenedabit

Totally thread jacking here, love the sig. Don't know why ,but makes me smile. Especially since I've seen people whine about it.

Posted via CB10

The Classic does seem to be getting lost amidst all the hoopla of The Passport and I agree, I'm looking forward to it far more than the Passport which is way over-specced for my needs.

Some good news, just yesterday, here in Portugal, i spoke to the sales guy at FNAC and he told me BB sales are picking up again slowly, at least he feels the company is turning around again slowly and is creating some interest and demand. Coming from a sales guy I just hope it can be multiplied by the millions around the world.

The only negative things were .... BB have left no oficial representation in Portugal (most probably gone to Spain like many, many other companies do and then cover the whole IBERIAN Peninsula, which is Portugal and Spain and consist of about 58 million in population) from there and .....
had to send their display Z30 back for repair as it would´nt go on, just had the blinking red light continuously ...... ouch

Anyway, they had the Z10, Q5 and Q10 still on display and i made a point of showing him my Z10 and expaining to him that i would not swap it for any other OS or Brand, he nodded in conformity and just said yes, BB have good phones .......

Going by my experience today at my regular retailers place here in Mumbai in India, where I went today to buy a new case for my Z30, three people bought Z3's in front of my eyes.. I was so happy that I allowed them to connect to my phone's mobile hotspot to download amazon app store :D

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

ADVERTIZE, ADVERTIZE, and ADVERTIZE!!!!

That's what BlackBerry needs the most to move forward.

Posted via CB10

Oops, double post. Should I do it again, to match 3x advertize?
I better resist...

 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

This is an important milestone in the turnaround road map. Hopefully more good news to follow!

Posted via CB10

That's great news.. I do hope networks in the UK catch on to that. I'm fedup with the lack of choices out their for phones. Its like you can have any phone you like, as long as it's an iPhone.

Posted via my sexy all black Q10SQN100-3/10.2.1.3247

My dear brothers, we shouldn't even forget all the previous BlackBerry icons. Especially who made BlackBerry Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie.

I am happy to see that BlackBerry completed the tenure of restructuring.

My prayers always with BlackBerry and all of people's who made BlackBerry Global Leader. Even a cleaner who work with BlackBerry.

GOD bless you BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

All I hear is Mr Chen reassuring his workforce, they can stop sending resumes, BlackBerry can afford all of them.
Good news all round.

100% BlackBerry

+1

I hope this leads to an increase (or at least stabilization) of employee moral!

I know that I'd be happy to hear this if I were a BlackBerry employee!

Posted via CB10

Yes, Number 1: reassure your workforce Create an atmosphere of stability Number 2: Communicate a sense of stability and new phase of (measured) growth to investors / Wall street / Bay St.
3: provide same to potential and existing customers

From my Neutrino Powered Z10

Bell is apparently dropping BlackBerry, I was told at The Source for the second time that BlackBerry was being pulled from the stores.. no accessories, guy even said accessories were pulled and or destroyed... BlackBerry needs to start marketing and selling, very strong and fast.
While I'm at it, why is everyone clamoring for new phones when we have the Z30? If Heins did one thing, he reduced the number of models. You don't need a new model every quarter, but you do need to sell the ones you have.

I don't believe that they are dropping all Blackberries. My understanding was that they were dropping the Q5, but will continue to carry the Z30 and the Q10.

Posted from my Samsung Galaxy Note Tablet

When my mother-in-law wanted to get a cell phone, she insisted on going up to Walmart. The phone guy said that only on BlackBerry can you have BBM! That was last week. We walked out. One of my wife's co-workers showed up to work the other day with an iPhone. She said oh, I thought you were getting a Z10 (like hers) and she said no, the sales guy said BlackBerry discontinued that phone and only have qwerty ones now!!!! About 4 months ago I took my dad up to Rogers in the mall to update his bold to a Q10. When I asked him if he had a working Q5 or Q10 to play with he said... why would you want a blackberry, they probably won't even be around by the end of your contract. We left and picked him up a Q5 at Wireless wave. These three stories happened to me and are 100% true!!! I know they really don't go with the article, but I really needed them to get out there. If this is happened to me, just one person, in one city can you imagine what is being said across Canada alone. How many people that may have been on the fence and walked out with a different device because the sales guy trashed talked BlackBerry. It pisses me off.

Next BBM update....BBM Peek

The other thing is I know two people at work that wanted a cheap phone plan. They went to Koodoo which only carries the Q5. They wanted full touch so ended up both picking up a Samsung. One a S3 and the other... I can't think of. I believe it was an Ace. I know BlackBerry has addressed this with the Z3, but how can we expect to take over the world when only 1 or 2 devices are offered with the carrier!!!

Next BBM update....BBM Peek

I agree on everything you said and it kind of pisses you off to hear that. However I don't think BlackBerry will take immediate action on that as their focus will be on the enterprise sector again. Only in time and when they see we are still around after a year or so they will start understanding we are not going anywhere...

Posted via CB10

Yah, their reputation is very bad. Someone told me, "They still make phones? I thought they sold the company? "

They need to fix this, the sales damage is huge. Bbfacts was an attempt, but the average joe does not know it exists.

I actually heard the worst one today..." BlackBerry should just start producing a smartphone already" <--------What??

About a month ago the Virgin store in my local mall had a sign over their demo Z10 saying they had sold out but more were coming. Lo-and-behold, about 10 days later the sign was removed and they had more inventory. The Bell rep I was talking to while trying to sort out a billing issue for my TV and Internet in the same mall told me that sales of the Q10 and Z30 were "decent" and "steady" and they constantly had stock of them. Maybe this is a Source only issue, after all they are run as a separate entity.

I agree with PaulVO1. Why not MARKET and SELL the awesome phones (esp the Z30) that they already have before introducing new models. Also why aren't official updates for the OS available on a timely basis to all BlackBerry users?

Today after work I was having a beer with some friends and I noticed something I haven't seen in a while. Out of 4 cell phones there was 3 BlackBerrys and one HTC. I pointed this out to my colleagues and began to sing " THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING ".

Posted via CB10

There is still loads if work to be done to bring back business Windows phone for some strange reason are a choice with some UK companies I have been with also Mdm solutions some are going Air Watch and others. There is still a large disdain for BlackBerry and that must change in order for the company to move forward
As for me I am sticking with BlackBerry

Posted using BlackBerry Z10

Good news.

BlackBerry ramped up to be a major player in the consumer market instead of keeping to their knitting. Now with the refocus on the business segment and the internet of things they have a very good chance of becoming larger (in terms of revenue) than at any time in their history.

As far as leaked memo. There was nothing leaked about the memo. It was a memo that went to every BlackBerry employees. I would not be surprised if BlackBerry's press relations group sent this out to selected members of the media.

Ok great, now release 10.3 and step on the gas, because market ground is not gained thru memos or inspirational notes.

Posted via CB10

Good news. A tech company must always restructure, but the end to downsizing is a good leading indicator of business. As integration with android improves, it is imperative that consumers are very aware of the BlackBerry product. Now they are absolutely not aware. In fact, most people assume the company will be dead in a year. No one will buy a phone thinking their investment will be depreciated quickly. Turn the "buzz" around. Leaked messages such as this are helpful.

Posted via CB10

We need a REAL 200$ phone and a 150$ Qwerty phone!!! We have to have REAL entry Phones to get more costumers!!!

The Z3 is unfortunately not a Real 200$/entry phone... there still phones which are way more cheaper!!!

No Signature today...

I see it the other way. BlackBerry can't compete with Android phones from China. This is a no win for them. Instead, BlackBerry needs to create more powerful premium phones with some less expensive entry options for teens, like the Q5 and Z3 but with LTE. Success of the Z10, Q10, Q5, and Z30 weren't because of poor engineering. Poor target marketing was the issue as well as BB execs excessive talk of doom and selling out. They need to fix this internally and effectively manage messages being sent to the media.

Yes market share is small but as long as it is profitable, that is what matters. Do not forget, there are several divisions that are expected to market leaders in their own right.

Chen seem to be on a plan and will take it slow. Very smart man and kudos to BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Good news in short term, I do not think there was adequate restructuring and all the "big names" that have been announced leave me lacking in the feeling that enough was done.

Posted via CB10

I welcome the great news, and look forward to the Passport and Classic, and continued development of QNX, BBM and Enterprise, for a strong and healthy BlackBerry. Long live BlackBerry! Thank you John Chen.

Chen is not having it :) he is going to do everything in his power to turn BlackBerry around and make it profitable again. This is great, BlackBerry has a lot of growth and he's making sure that people know! You go Chen #teambb10

BlackBerry was the phone of choice in the Caribbean for a while but it's now being flooded by Android and apple. We need to keep the lead. So keep on working Chen

Posted via CB10

I think it's just a talking point for the rest of the world that the internal bleeding has stopped for BlackBerry. Patient still in serious condition, barring from any complication arises during this period, it's expected to fully recover.

Way to go Chen!!!!You the super man...

Now we can visualize some good BlackBerry sales specialists who will demo the passport in the stores.

Posted from my Black Beast Q10

Now Blackberry really needs to look carefully at places where they are deficient.

Marketing expertise is sorely lacking. Must do something about that.

And Blackberry does not currently make a tablet. I see this as a huge gap in their product portfolio. If they want to be taken seriously, especially for business, they need a tablet in the product lineup. Even if it's just an updated Playbook and direct order from Blackberry.

Just walked into the kitchen after leaving the bedroom, wondering whether I should do some web searches and email on the Q10, or grab a laptop, or what else... until "BB10 tablet" popped up in my mind...

It is sorely needed from my own perspective as a user, even just 1280x720/786px res to match or mirror Z30 /10

 BlackBerry? I premdict the future's gonna be chenomenal! 

I wanna see the new Passport and Classic phones. Love the Q10 and would stay with it for a very long time if no other viable physical keyboard phone would come out.

Posted via CB10

well, this sounds great..

as a fan , all i need is to have my PASSPORT with at least the popular apps, with nice mapping , and with Pen ...in other word, the best productivity mobile anyone ever can own...

that's the way to be the #1 mobile again...

Let's not pop any Champagne corks yet.

The sales figures in the US are abysmal.

I'm ready to go to work for BlackBerry.

Tell Marty Beard when you see him .

We need more camera functions on all BB10 devices.

I would like to the number 10 on all BB10 devices especially on the back. ©

Better tag line than 'keep moving ' try mine for a fee - BlackBerry...Get it done!! ©

It's too the point and tells you of the efficiency of BB10. Furthermore there is no messing about.

Also when BlackBerry are in a more powerful position they could do a 'Built by BlackBerry Competition '© in conjunction with Foxconn . There's enough concepts out there to really change the whole consumers attitude to BlackBerry.

A Battle is won the War continues...

Posted via CB10

Every CEO gets to play the "your jobs are safe" card once, after that no one believes you. So they should beef up their severance packages to encourage people to stay.

Every CEO has hard decisions to make. Whether or not they're the right decisions, only the passing of time discloses. Of course, their struggle isn't over, not for BlackBerry or any other player in the market. This just means they've moved to the next square. It means that they can start to look up. Of course, when you've reached the bottom of the barrel the only direction you can look is up. But even on the way back up, effort must constanly be made. Let's just hope they no longer sit on their laurels.

The butthurt morons at iBGR are going to be so p!ssed when they read this. After all, they predicted BBRY's demise this year, er was it last year? SMFH

Posted via CB10 from my amazing Q10

^^^^^^ especially the tubby, balding Editor in Chief of BGR....going on CNBC telling the world that BlackBerry is dead....fat piece of garbage.

Founding Member of "Club Z30 "..... the most exclusive club in mobile

You mean we can get this stuff leaked but I can't get a good OS since Chen tightened things up?

Posted Pantlessly via My Kick @ss Z30!!!

Hopefully, they can switch things into next gear in terms of making the company profitable again. More staff for sales, hopefully, means marketing becomes a regular, consistent thing and being a with the BlackBerry Passport. Hopefully, more staff for productive development means we get more development behind the BlackBerry apps lacking in functionality from their legacy days and/or things like the octa-core BlackBerry will become reality next year. Maybe we finally see one of the many concept BlackBerry ideas floating around come to life (not holding my breath). Whatever it means, like earlier comments stated, this distraction should be gone from staff and, hopefully, faster and more effective OS updates in the future.

Posted via CB10

Great news from BlackBerry!! Chen is doing very well at the helm. To win the ball game he has to keep hitting singles and not try for the home run with every at bat. Pretty soon he's going to be driving in runs with each single. No need to swing for the fences every time he's at the plate; however the new Passport may be a homer which wouldn't hurt. Perhaps the Classic may be a much needed double or triple for the BlackBerry team too. Now back the watching the Jays. Go BlackBerry Go!

Posted via CB10

Now it's time for crackberry to restructure too. Far too much emphasis on consumer games and apps and way too little emphasis on corporate stuff. Blackberry is not a consumer tech company anymore. Never was anyways. I think it's time that cracberry realign and write more corporate pieces.

I agree with BerryPirate. Too much emphasis on consumer games and apps. If I wanted a toy I would've bought a toy. I used to check Crackberry daily but now maybe once a week...

I think there's a place for both. I'm not a corporate user. I don't care about that stuff. Do I use my phone for work? Yep. But it's not about spread sheets and file managers. I call text and send some emails. Look at pdfs sometimes and use the browser or some work related apps. I have a couple games I play sometimes. It's not all about corporate. Believe it or not I think crackberry throws out plenty of those corporate articles and I don't read but about half of them.

Posted via CB10

I disagree. Bkackberry is focusung now in its strengths, as it should. The z3 is certainly not a corporate phone so that should give you some idea that Blackberry still wants a presence in the consumer side as well. And most importantly, a 1 or 2 percent market share on consumer phones is probably bigger than a 30 percent share of enterprise.

I will say this once again, without the consumer market, the enterprise "WILL" die a horrible death. Consumers that work for companies have a strong say in what they would like to use. If not, they will bitch for it.

Posted on my Q5

Good news because I have been waiting to apply! The Apple recruiter died when I told him I would prefer to work at Blackberry.

Posted via CB10

Now, we move forward with a positive outlook! No more depressing news of uncertainty PLEASE!!!!! Stop scaring off investors, subscribers, enterprises.

Glory Glory BlackBerry, So happy for you my BlackBerry, you works like 'charm'. Well done Jhon chen! Best of Luck for Next too!! :)

Phoenix Z10 STL 100 - 1 OS3247

Great news BlackBerry! Now I would like to see some BB10 devices advertised on US Television!

Posted by my QNX powered Z10

The only issue with the previous management is they did not release BB10, 1 year earlier. That should have been the TOP Priority.

Get it done, regardless, and no excuses. This is how John Chen now operates, no excuses and no delays. Here's the dead line, now beat it by months.

Posted on my Q5

Has anyone noticed the choice of image that is accompanying this story in the CBC and Globe and Mail apps? It's a picture of Chen with his hand on his forehead, as if to show that he is in dire straits.

I really wish the media would stop slanting BlackBerry as a company on the brink of disaster. Yes they were in trouble, but now things are beginning to stabilize, so why not choose a more optimistic image for the article?

Posted via the Z30 on CB10

How many billion did they lose last quarter? The quarter before? They are far far away from a healthy company

This surely will add a lot of positivity among the employees, the investors and the media.. inch by inch move closer to reaching glory again.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

Very good to hear. Glad it's been done. Now on to progressing!

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

I'm very happy to hear this. I'm sure that things will only move up from this point on. I have a great deal of faith in BlackBerry.

Ojani Noa

BlackBerry needs to stay afloat and prosper for my mental sanity. I can't use any other phones, I get confused. They're all so spiked with millions of unnecessary menus and options. And the security side of things... good luck!!! I choose BlackBerry!!! Always!!!

Posted with my Awesome Z10 via CB10

Good, maybe now BlackBerry can work on getting our Contacts App working right...

Crackberry Genius on Verizon STL100-4 10.3.0.296/442

Very excited and confident in the direction BlackBerry Ceo Chen is taking things.....

Can't wait for the fall rollout of exciting devices and software....

Esp.. Passport!!! Buy! Buy! Buy!

Posted via CB10

This will hopefully give some reassuring to those employees who survived the recent purges BlackBerry undertook. It will hopefully free them to get on with the business of turning this company around and hopefully making it yet again a viable, attractive player in the telecom, software and hardware business.

Maybe this will also mean some certainty for BlackBerry customers...

Cautiously optimistic at this point and will continue to keep my fingers crossed.

Cartman says: Screw you guys I'm going home!

I am glad to some hiring in customer service. Maybe that will get synchronization with Outlook calendar and contacts fixed.

Posted via CB10

THAT IS GOOD NEWS . HOPE BLACKBERRY WILL RELEASE SOME GOOD HARDWARE IN THE FOLLOWING YEARS. I AM USING BB Z 30 AND IT IS GREAT DEVICE BUT NOT MARKETED WELL IN INDIA . HOPE SOMEBODY TAKE NOTICE.

Just ordered my Z30 from Blackberry, they have a 30% off sale right now.

Very excited about going back to Blackberry