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< >

BlackBerry's sales force gutting isn't what you think

By Chris Umiastowski on 10 Sep 2013 07:03 pm EDT
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Yesterday we saw several websites report on job cuts in BlackBerry’s sales force. The initial source of the story was Nick Waddell’s Cantech Letter. His source described the consumer sales force as being basically “gone” and the enterprise sales team as “gutted”. The source clearly believed that half of BlackBerry’s sales force had been wiped out.

Obviously we have to take this kind of information with a grain of salt because it’s coming from one person inside of the company. To be fair, Waddell only reported on what the source said and didn’t do what so many other people do ... and that is to make it sound like there are multiple sources by pluralizing everything. We don’t believe Cantech Letter in any way intended to convey wrong information.

Still - the damage was done. Several major websites ran versions of this same story and it took until today for BlackBerry to respond with clarification.

Here’s the statement BlackBerry provided:

“I’d like to clarify that we are moving a small number of US-focused sales roles that were based in Canada to the U.S. to be more closely aligned with our customers. As a result, approximately 60 employees have been impacted, primarily in sales.

As previously stated, we are in the second phase of our transformation plan. As part of this transformation, BlackBerry will continually evaluate its organization – from top to bottom – to ensure we have the right people, with the right skills in the right locations to drive new opportunities in mobile computing.”

The story that ran yesterday was either going to be true or untrue ... obviously. And if it was true, it could easily signal that the company was going to exit the smartphone business altogether. So it is pretty darn important to set the record straight. It took too long, but at least now we know the strategy they’re implementing makes sense.

For a while now I and others on the CrackBerry team have been aware of the company’s plans to move US sales coverage to the States. It has always been based out of Canada for some reason, and obviously it is better to sell to US carriers out of their home country.

Cutting 60 jobs in Canada probably reflects the significant number of Canadian employees who were unwilling to move to the States, or those who were deemed as not strong enough to warrant an offer to move. It’s probably best described as BlackBerry gutting the Canadian-based US sales team, and for good reason.

I’m relieved to hear the news. Had the company’s PR team said nothing at all I’d assume the news was in fact true, as would many other customers. That would not be good for sales.

Context is everything. Gutting a sales force suggests things are horrible. But knowing the context of the situation, this is actually a smart move by BlackBerry. It’s something that should probably have been done years ago - and at least it’s being done now.

Topics: BBRY Editorial

189 comments

zten

Ouch

Posted via CB10

Bacon Munchers

Thanks Chris,

Unfortunately, the clarification didn't keep the stock price from dropping.

I really think that on these types of reports, someone at BlackBerry should be ready with guns aimed to release an answer in quick response to mitigate further stock hits at this very fragile time.

Chris Umiastowski

Oh boy do I ever agree. They failed. Too slow.

Posted via CB10

iskaheen

BlackBerry is being attacked big time. They need to shut this stuff down fast. So I agree they need to setup a special response team to deal with this stuff. The media and social media is a different beast today. I used to work for Motorola in Canada when they were actually good. R and D in Canada was actually much more productive than in the US and much cheaper. They still shutdown all Canadian operations when an idiot named Ed Zander screwed up. No news reported on these mass layoffs in Canada. When Google bought. Motorola Mobility they fired 7K employees,
Americans, no media coverage. Yet a small realignment of sales people garners big news. BlackBerry needs a special response team - and they need to be Americans because Canadians take way to much lip.

Yasch22

Iskaheen -- agree 100%.
And Chris, excellent article!

qwerty4ever

Correction: BlackBerry management needs to communicate clearly and consistently. The failure to communicate combined with the garbled messages often at cross purposes are symptomatic of a management team unable to manage.

birdman_38

I'm not sure BlackBerry even has a public relations team. If it's an outside firm handling the PR, there seems to be bogged down communications and/or a lot of red tape before a statement is actually released to do damage control.

br14

They have a PR team. The head of the team usually fronts up the earnings calls.

However you spin this, a bunch of people in Canada lost their jobs.

Since anything said in response is just as likely to be spun negatively I imagine they generally don't bother responding.

Douken

It's called noise, nothing to worry about, actually this right here is great news!

A great move, finally!

Marketing is everything

Nathend

So more Canadians Losing there Jobs because BB moves positions to the US is Good news ?

There is more going on here they are not telling.

I Call BS on this and Time will prove me correct. BB intentions are to go US before and settle in there before they finally cut the cord in Canada and l8tr announce they split the Business up with little or no involvement in continued development on BB devices. Most like Software services only.

BK_NY_RAY

I definitely don't like BB moving anything to the US. Now they are under the BS, unconstitutional, anti freedom, control, privacy and consumer/citizen laws.

On a side note, I wonder how Firefox OS is going to do. So far, it seems like it's doing great in everything. If Firefox OS succeeds and BlackBerry fails, then definitely people need to be fired over at BBRY. Yes, Mozilla is amazing in everyway it seems, but they are new in mobile OS and BBRY has been there since the beginning.

dpeters11

I've given up trying to understand the stock market. Even if a company makes a ton of money in a quarter, and exceeds expectations, the price can still drop because they didn't exceed expectations as much as they should have.

sentano

it isn't too much to figure about the stock market...actually market may not even be the proper designation for it...it's just a bunch of sharks making profit left right and center aided by the weird financial tools invented by them for their own advantage...without being part of them its impossible to understand the way things work. Companies in weaker positions, like BB is for a while are goldmines for them. No matter which way the share price goes, they make money anyway...

OMGitworks

How about they put out a press release ahead of time, putting a positive spin on it as Chris did? Their delay and failure to be out in front of this is, unfortunately, typical of Blackberry these days and avoidable and regrettable.

For once, I would like to see them act and not just react.

Stewartj1

In fact, the changes should have been announced by BBRY along with the reasoning in a press release.

Again, BBRY failed to control the message resulting in unnecessary damage to their reputation rather than making themselves look capable and on track.

Another PR opportunity foolishly squandered.

««« Posted from my Z10 using the CB10 app» »»

felixweber

They didn't do a good job in the last few months! Sales can only get better!

sebstarr

Maybe ramp up US exposure!

Posted via CB10

sebstarr

I hope that in the long run this will in fact bring more jobs back to BlackBerry waterloo

Posted via CB10

iwasspartacus

Why?

Waterloo as the HQ is not helping this organization. More difficult to run their business with the people they need being located so far from Mountainview...

Posted via CB10

Thunderbuck

You don't know what you're talking about. BlackBerry managed to set the foundation for a very healthy tech community in Waterloo. Google has offices and research facilities there, and the startup community is alive and well (Kix is only one of many Waterloo startups).

iwasspartacus

You're comparing the BBRY glory days and Kik to BBRY? Really? Maybe neither of us know what we're taking about chuckle.

I can agree that a small consumer packaging group or call centre could be kept in Waterloo to take advantage of tax breaks etc. However it has been proven pretty effectively that BBRY cannot compete where they are currently located.

After a long hard search for a CMO The best they could attract to Waterloo is Frank. Care to disagree?

Posted via CB10

aornoe785

Wow, no, you really do not know what you're talking about.

In part because of RIM, Waterloo is the new technology hub for Canada. Google, Microsoft, Apple...all the big players have offices here, in addition to a ton of startups.

I don't even understand your argument about the CMO - I severely doubt it was a case of 'who could be attracted to Waterloo'. He was the guy they chose. Was he the right choice? It doesn't have anything to do with location.

Someday, Americans will have to learn that a fully functional world exists outside their borders...

iwasspartacus

I'm Canadian. Which doesn't change that BBRY outgrew or is competing in an industry where the best talent resides in the U.S.

Posted via CB10

iwasspartacus

Jeez.

Which doesn't change the fact that BBRY is competing in an industry where the best talent lives, learns and works in the U.S. ... has nothing to do with nationalism. They need to move to the U.S. After downsizing even further.

Posted via CB10

aornoe785

That's still an incredibly narrow-minded worldview. Samsung might want to have a word with you...

Zarpan

Move to Silicon Valley and then compete with Google, Facebook, Apple and everyone else for top talent? That's not going to work at all...

BlackBerry would never be able to get the real top tier talents from Silicon Valley over those other giant companies who are already throwing tons of stock options and money at workers. BlackBerry's reputation in the US is currently pretty weak, so they'd have to pay some ridiculous amounts of money to attract the elite talent (Facebook, Google, and Apple already pay millions per employee to acquire these people).

You can attract people who are very good to Waterloo that are much cheaper in Canada than it would cost to get very good people in Silicon Valley. So, assuming that BlackBerry won't/can't get people who command million dollar packages, it makes sense to stay right where they are.

New_Z10

I think that is highly questionable. The USA is 10x larger but our school rate among the top. Our education system is ranked 6-10th in the world, compared with 18 best for the USA. The issue may be a case study for visionary leadership. Or lack thereof rather than the depth of the talent pool.

Posted via CB10

iwasspartacus

I stand corrected!

The current model of BBRY relationship building with the principal players in the smartphone industry is working swimmingly. Obviously.

In fact... I'm sure any day now we'll hear about the Netflix, Instagram etc decision makers being spotted in the Ottawa airport as they make their way to BBRY headquarters to discuss how their apps can be adopted to BB10.

Should be any day now.

Posted via CB10

thisiscjay

I say move BlackBerry HQ to downtown Toronto

Savior4Life

Ya, they can afford that... *rolls eyes*

Nathend

? Are you serious ?
BB Intentions are not keep Jobs in Canada, THE board has one motive ..........How to make Money. More Money. Even MORE money. Keeping Jobs in Canada is not even on the list.

Gord Cluthe

Thanks for clarification.

fearmantis

I have been saying the media conspiracy against BB in favor of Apple, and others...

BB Z10 Rocks!

trwrt

It's now spread to the Canadian media? I suppose pretty soon even BlackBerry will be reporting false information to smear itself.

Infiniti14

Blackberry is a perfect example of a self fulfilling prophecy. People incorrectly claim that the company is going out of business, so lay consumers assume this is true and avoid the product, which in turn hurts sales and leads to further stories claiming BlackBerry will go out of business.

It's a giant angry spiral.

Posted via CB10

ibpluto

Yup.....

CB10'n it.....via my Z

Forj77

Absolutely correct. Its difficult convincing even family to switch to BB10 when you have to spend so much time refuting all the negative news stories before even getting to the benefits of BB10. Very frustrating.

Savior4Life

Um, they are going out of business.

Nathend

I agree. Show me a Business man that will agree with the Logic that a Company , any Company Lets say Company D, Company D continues to post losses every Quarter and continually posts no gains but ALL IS WELL ? I don't think so. So if BB is making Money !! They need to get that out ASAP because frankly if your NOT making Money , then you are in it to stay in Business.

danielrivers

Great example how any sniff of something possibly bad about BlackBerry and people will swarm over it and make a storm in a tea cup

R Field

BlackBerry's PR team is awful...

CB10- BlackBerry Z10 - 10.2.0.1047

DueNorthBB

I don't know of any positive PR team going into play when people get laid off. I am glad they gave the clarification.

mjdimer

Agreed. It's not common practice to do a press release when people have been laid off. Based on how long it takes to draft, check, and approve releases, I think they took the right amount of time to say something. The fact they did shows that they've got good pr.

It seems to me that the source was someone pissed off at being made redundant. Judging on current sales performance everywhere but Canada, this is a much needed move.

Also, it shows they aren't planning to shut the shop...

Posted via CB10

Savior4Life

BBRY has a PR team....?

BBPandy

yea gota love the media

nabil114

They need to reduce to 1.5 billion. SG&A

2ys4u

BlackBerry needs Elon Musk....he corrects people immediately and the stock price shows it

Posted via CB10

qwerty4ever

Chris can spin this announcement any way he chooses but in the minds of the public BlackBerry is cutting it's sales team.

Posted via CB10 from the BlackBerry Z10

Chris Umiastowski

Dear clueless commenter: you're describing spin. I'm describing facts.

Posted via CB10

New_Z10

Facts? We are moving a small number- maybe 2 or 3- and cutting 60 positions? How many are being removed and or replaced. This is the more telling FACT.

Posted via CB10

dejanh

Maybe you need to re-read this part of the statement...

"I’d like to clarify that we are moving a small number of US-focused sales roles that were based in Canada to the U.S. to be more closely aligned with our customers. As a result, approximately 60 employees have been impacted, primarily in sales"

In other words, 60 positions are getting moved.

Posted via CB10

New_Z10

No. Read more closely. 60 people "impacted". Not moved. Not relocated. Not offered packages. "Impacted. "

Posted via CB10

nyallj

Yes, but vastly different from 'gutted'.

#IchooseBlackBerry10 #ZedTen #CB10 Channel C00123045

dejanh

I did read it closely, 60 people impacted means that 60 people are affected by the change, as in, 60 jobs are moving to the US being that they are moving the positions to the target market. It's very different from letting 60 people go and not filling those roles again. It's not sales force gutting, it's realignment.

Posted via CB10

New_Z10

Wow. That is reading a lot into the word "impacted". Why didn't they say 60 people were "relocated". Can you kindly refer me to your reference in which impacted means moved. I'll eat a small Canadian flag if you can demonstrate 60 are "moved" or "relocated ".

Posted via CB10

birdman_38

I understand 60 people will be applying for EI, even after CrackBerry's spin.

Nathend

That's exactly what is happening.

Chris Umiastowski

It means 60 jobs cut in Canada. Pretty simple. It also means, based on their description of the reasons, a similar number of hires in the USA.

EDIT: I have additional information confirming that they are rehiring many of the people who they let go, and consolidating a smaller number of some of these jobs to existing US employees. Total headcount reduction from this is much less than 60 when you add it all up.

Posted via CB10

New_Z10

That is an absolute inference. There is nothing to support that claim- of 60 hires . It says 60 impacted.

Posted via CB10

mathking606

They wanted to move those jobs to America.

aornoe785

There's nothing to NOT support the assumption of 60 hires in the states.

So why are you inferring the phrase 'a small number' doesn't equal '60'?

New_Z10

It refers to "roles" not position. Any equally valid inference may be- we consolidated consumer roles into one region rather than 15- we've consolidated our enterprise roles from 25 people to 2. In fact this more closely aligns with work force "rationalization" or phase two. (I am not saying it is more or less effective)

Posted via CB10

New_Z10

Thank you got the clarification. I think you now must agree it is not 60 relocated or 60 new hires- but there is indeed an overall reduction.

Posted via CB10

Nathend

I disagree Chris. Call it what you want , but none the less some Canadians currently working for BB will lose there Jobs no matter HOW BB or you try to spin it.
Z10 is correct. If it were any other way BB could have put this story to bed by declaring that No Canadian job is affected and they they will indeed be relocated to the US.

Kayatoca

"I’d like to clarify that we are moving a small number of US-focused sales roles ..." (next sentence) "... approximately 60 employees have been impacted..." Does that make it more obvious now?

New_Z10

We are consolidating our sales roles into 2. 60 people will be let go. This is a very valid interpretation. Here is the test- if you were one of the impacted employees would you feel confident you could cover your mortgage in three months?

Posted via CB10

HabsSuck

New Z10

You're an idiot

My apologies Mr Moderator but the poster is lacking any common sense.

trwrt

Actually, he is perfectly correct. Nothing in what BB said concretely states that the 60 folks "impacted" will be replaced by anywhere near that number in the US. You might say he's parsing it a little too closely but experience shows that when things are ambiguously worded there is often a good reason for it.

New_Z10

Actually I am very well educated and read very well. Please carefully re-read blackberry response. Remember they pay people who are skilled communicators to issue public statements.

Posted via CB10

Nathend

" HabsSuck 16 hours ago
New Z10
You're an idiot
My apologies Mr Moderator but the poster is lacking any common sense. "

What ? LMAO. Omg.
You need to go back to school.

jupiter8

Your reason in the matter is not wasted. It seems many emotional responses are clouded with what they want to hear. Being objective to fans can cause anxiety to some.

Posted via CB10

pfluger

I agree with New_Z10. This sound like 60 jobs cut in Canda and a couple of title changes with more responsibilities and work for a handful people already based in the US. Doesn't say anything about new hires or moving people.

Chris Umiastowski

Here's what you guys don't seem to realize. BBRY Has offered moves to many Canadians in US sales roles. Some have moved. Some don't want to. Those who don't move get a package and open up a job for someone in the US.

Posted via CB10

New_Z10

Okay Chris please clear it up. What is the net reduction. You remarks seem to clearly suggest it is not 60 so there is a net loss. We have now clearly established that "impacted " does not mean "relocated ". (Please note also I have not suggested this is good or bad
I would rather have 15 exceptional sales people than 60 mediocre ones). But I think we should seek clarity- it leads to understanding.

Posted via CB10

jaqoozi

My boss was relocated to an overseas office. That impacted the two of us greatly, but we both still have our jobs... not to mention the others in my team. Incidentally, we even hired another person, which also had an impacted on us...

menaknow

Impacted would included moved.
Your working in a different location... Therefore your impacted.

Unless you give specific numbers of who moved and who was let go, then I refused to assume.

People who have their families in Canada can choose not to move

New_Z10

Impacted does not translate to moved. Please read chris' clarification which clearly indicates that there will indeed be a reduction and there are not simply 60 people moved. Either conclusion requires an assumption but it appears that my assumption is more closely associated with the facts as we have more clarification.

Posted via CB10

bbontherise47

BlackBerry has 30 new sales reps starting next week in the US and that is on top of the Large number of sales hires over the last few months. US will have its own offices, likely two, one on east coast and one central to cover west as well and all us sales will be conducted by us sales reps based in the US and in certain larger markets.

Your comment of 60 lost jobs cut down to 1 or 2 new hires is completely inaccurate and proves the negativity bias towards BlackBerry is not just media related. You are right, they didn't say 60 for 60, but yet right away you went 60-2. BlackBerry should have been out in front of this instead of waiting for it to leak to the media(negatively of course) and then react.

This is smart, cutting down on the travel costs and possible lack of face time with carriers is extremely important.

Really hate to see 60 positions in Canada affected but business wise, this should have been done before the launch of BB10

Posted via CB10

aboldcurve

yeah thank you therise. this is BlackBerry revamping their american sales team which they definitely should have done before bb10 but good thing theyve realized some issues and are changing

New_Z10

It was not inaccurate. It was a reasonable inference from the initial statements provided. Chris has added new information as have others. It appears that the replaced jobs will not equal those cut- but it seems to be much closer with today's additional information. Clarity is good.

Posted via CB10

Iamanonymous62

Wow name calling, how unbecoming. It seems you don't take criticism well Chris.

PhilipDZ

Hey look on the bright side.

Posted via CB10

PhilipDZ

Hey look on the bright side... that could be up to 60 blackberry phones sold in the U.S for the month of September! lol

Posted via CB10

Chris Umiastowski

Well ... more of an adjective than name calling, but I hear you.  I should be nicer.

PhilipDZ

Well Chris, if it means anything I do agree with you! Great article.

Posted via CB10

New_Z10

I can't find the remark but I would hope a reasonable discussion of what an ambiguous statement does not warrant lack of civility.

Posted via CB10

qwerty4ever

Clueless commenter, eh? You might want to refrain from name-calling Mr. Umiastowski.

Bfalcon1

I really believe there is a media bias against BlackBerry. Look how they are fawning over the "new" iPhone's today. Maybe the consumer is getting smart because if you read some of the comments below the articles they are not impressed.

Thanks for keeping the story straight

Posted via CB10

Skandalous1

What do comments below the articles have to do with the consumer? Commenters proclaimed the iPhone 4s and 5 boring., which impacted sales not a single bit.

thisiscjay

This in fact DOES exist(media bias). If you care to venture over to BGR's site you will see yellow journalism in its finest form. Not only are the articles negatively biased toward BlackBerry (I visit multiple tech sites and can easily spot unbalanced opinionated rubbish) but there is a SET amount of posters who repeatedly post "BlackBerry DOA" or "RIP BB" on EVERY article. If THAT is not enough proof then I don't know what is....

AnimalPak200

A fine example of the currents BlackBerry is swimming against.

Did you hear they switched to they switched to a cheaper toilet paper supplier?? Oh boy, it's all over.

Posted via CB10

Puz_zled

One ply instead of two ply?? What are they thinking over there??

Swiped with one thumb from the virtual keyboard of my awesome Z10!

DocDRM

Comment about one ply vs two then the first few words of the signature "swiped with one thumb". TOO FUNNY right there!

Posted via CB10

qwerty4ever

If you typed the message using one thumb while simultaneously wiping your posterior with the fingers of the same hand, I am at a loss for words. Except these words of course. ;-)

tmichaelmorrissey

BlackBerry needs to more of this when the record needs to be corrected.

Posted via CB10

pvphooman

They should cut the marketing director.. BlackBerry has got a great new product and operating system...yet same image and declining trend of public perception.

Oh and sales force? How about make better incentives for carrier reps to not steer customers to Samsung and Apple. THEY have been the sales force.

- aBBuser seeing squircles on CB10

trwrt

It would help add some context if we knew how many total salespeople they have. Is it 60 out of 100 or 1000?

quik4life

It's too late - the damage is done. People see the headlines of BlackBerry cutting jobs, and even if BlackBerry clarifies the situation, the average reader won't bother to read or care about the correction.

xBURK

I've been somewhat obsessed with the future of BlackBerry for a while now. Many reasons for this. What gets me frustrated is not so much the bad and incorrect press coverage, but that BlackBerry does not come out and fight stupid claims against them. I'm glad this one is cleared up somewhat, but they have to do more to fight for their reputation at this point. It's like if someone told lies about you on the net and you didn't do anything about it. Does not make sense?

Posted via CB10

iwasspartacus

Because the leaders at BBRY function on a "I hope nobody finds out" basis and obviously... and it must be obvious to all CB enthusiasts... have no plan B.

How else do you explain the marketing?
How else do you explain S4BB apps as a third of the BBRY app experience?
How else do you explain the PlayBook debacle?
How else do you explain the browser issue with the odd workaround that was such a driver of eyeballs/clicks the last several days?

Every step of the way this leadership group continues to shit the bed and hope the market, potential partners, vendors and customers don't find out.

The media (i.e. CrackBerry) is interested in eyeballs, clicks and selling ads. Look forward to the YouTube video of how to send a text with BB10 guys haha.

Posted via CB10

Lonestar

Its such a shame that their social media accounts are so silent on these actual press releases. That is where the consumers are, that is where the negative sentiment is building. Nobody who is making a buying decision is going to visit blackberry.com/news. Get out there and control your own damn destiny @BlackBerry stop letting others write your story for you for those of us that love you it is like watching a relative in an abusive relationship who just refuses to leave.

rant/>

BlackBerrari

"...BlackBerry will continually evaluate its organization – from top to bottom – to ensure we have the right people, with the right skills in the right locations to drive new opportunities in mobile computing.”

Well, then... with all due respect, why don't they start with Boulben and clean up the PR dept... because so far, they have shown a poor, very poor performance... they had the unique chance with BB10 to really press the reset button and re-start, not just claim they will, but instead they screwed it up... and this with an amazing product... unfreakinbelievable

Kudos for the re branding, but that's just the first step in a serious sort of re-whatever plan...

Posted via CB10

alan510

Their social media people needed to correct this story before it was picked up by other news outlets. The thing about social media is that you can react quickly to these stories. Truth be told, if the original reporter had talked to BlackBerry it should have been clarified then. If the reporter didn't contact BlackBerry that should have been mentioned in the clarification.

Posted via CB10

Duffman19

Damage is done. Just waiting for release of next series if poor sales numbers

Posted via CB10

Bluline79

Yep...its because everything you read on the internet is true. you can't post stuff that isn't true online...lol Love that commercial.

Posted via CB10

mobilesync

Cut in Canada, Waterloo in particular, and expand elsewhere including U.S.

I have said this many many times.

Glad to know TH is doing this. Great job !

iwasspartacus

Yup. They are headquartered in the wrong nation. Want to compete? Move to Mountainview. Half. Get rid of the rest.

Posted via CB10

oakvillerelopro

Would a been nice to see BlackBerry post this prior to the negative reporting to prevent downward views yet again of BlackBerry. Always two steps behind boys...pick it up

Posted via CB10

nt300

This is great news. Finally going to the USA, it makes a lot of sense.
Unfortunately you have websites like Seeking Alpha approving articles that ran with the original story without the FACTS. The Globe and Mail is just as guilty, using opinionated articles and taking them as facts.

BlackBerry needs to respond much faster to nonsense allegations and such.

New_Z10

I don't think BlackBerry wants to confirm or deny anything for fear that they will be accountable for any business valuations that took their statements into account. Shareholders will sue everyone from Heins to Kevin! I imagine they will keep there mouths shut from now until the sale when it will be announced by the new chairman of the board and or Heins.

Posted via CB10

bbontherise47

+1 on this. Since they made the announcement of special committee, it has to be radio silence for any fear of tampering and lawsuits.

You nailed it in the head here

Posted via CB10

Nathend

Exactly ! BB will not say Anything. Why people do not understand this is Beyond me !
BB needs to publicly announce there strategy moving forward BUT that will not happen until it resolves it current situation. That is the problem.

tmichaelmorrissey

Way to step up Chris. Finally the whole Crackberry team is starting to step up. About time! #ichooseblackberry10

Posted via CB10

Pete The Penguin

Always knew that once the press got hole of this, they'd spin it badly.

Thanks for setting the record straight, Chris.

miguel89to

Can i apply to these new positions? Houston is a HUGE city and I would love to help in all ways I can.

Posted via CB10

Drenis

Great article Chris!

Thanks for setting the record straight as you always do.

Great to see BlackBerry always quick with the communications. Certainly my choice for mobile computing.

Shanerredflag

Seems to me Cantech Letters always use misleading verbiage ...Yes I said it and meant it.

Posted via CB10

nick canada

Thanks for the clarification Chris and stay positive cause people listen to you.

Posted via CB10

timmy t

Maybe they should have made an announcement of their plan to relocate people to the US from Canada the day these layoffs were made instead of reacting to negative press or letting people misinterpret what was happening.

birdman_38

Amen. The plan was likely never there, but the offer was,

BlackberryFan777

Good article. Furthermore, I think that when I hear people say that BlackBerry has terrible marketing, I think they actually mean advertising and sales. I'd love to hear about BlackBerry reorganizing and rebuilding it's sales force. Given that they seen to have job postings up in this critical area in addition to the clarity Chris just provided, I think this is good news.

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AnandTaipan

Is it not human nature to rejoice another human's failure than successes. Sad but true. And in the corporate world it is worse. Gossip mixed with spite is the worst form of human nature at it's worst.

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Real Estate Appraiser

When will blackberry learn that the media will spin everything as negative. They should have come out with this release the same time they made this move so that the media liars can spin it so badly.

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fast666

Don't trust BlackBerry anymore. Thor has lied before about how well Q10 been selling like millions.
Also I have realized that executive are more interested in their summer cottages than any thing during this desperate time.
I'm working hard to promote channels and they don't even cooperate.

ChannelX C000D3759 We review channels

dblcup

Would be nice if the world went back to actual journalism. The media has zero credibility. How you can publish a story as if it were actual, factual news with "a guy told me so" as your basis is beyond me....

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Playbook007

That may be the very reason BlackBerry doesn't show much interest in responding. The more they do, the more they get ripped. When will people realize that there is full time paid shrill to hit every Web page out there to attack BlackBerry. There is no other company that I can think of that has a constant ripping. Like it's amazing!

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

New_Z10

The markets are not based on journalism. They move on beliefs, conjecture, supposition and instinct. If they wait until the facts are confirmed- there is no opportunity to benefit from the value if the "information". The us stock market would move based on how thick the brief case was of the chairman of the Federal Reserve!

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LuayS

A day later, right on time BBRY!

willm

This kinda move should have been announced in the states with a simple press release stating they were moving jobs here to better serve their customers.
Everyone likes better service and job creation in the US. This could have been positive had BlackBerry gotten in front of it.

New_Z10

But that would draw attention as this does indeed look like an overall reduction. The losses plus the new jobs appears to equal a net job loss in marketing

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laketrout73

Moving your sales and marketing to the country your marketing in only makes sense. It was a glaring mistake on BlackBerry's part that this wasn't done for the launch of BB10.

I remember reading a comment a while back from a US based retail rep who said they regularly see Apple and Samsung reps but never do they see a BlackBerry rep. It's that personal contact with the people that sell your phone that will get them to actually suggest your phone to potential customers.

Z10 STL100-3 | 10.1.0.4633 | Bell

jfunds

Still don't know why it's taken them do long to release a statement.

BlackBerry customer service isn't the best, I still think they take to long to clear up speculation and rumors about the business which is damaging

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Jimmy Fong1

Hopefully it's not too much too late.

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DocDRM

For those complaining that BlackBerry should have responded quicker, they would have, but they delayed the press release because it wasn't quite feature rich enough for prime time. Better to release it late than than incomplete, probably the toughest decision the HMFIC had to make.

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jb325

Where can I apply?

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shootsscores

As is evidenced by recent current events, the US is, on the whole, a very shallow society that is easily swayed once a critical mass has been achieved. Sad to say but the US is a nation of followers. It is high time that BlackBerry got its head out of Waterloo and got out into the hustings where there is big money to be made. Let's face facts here, the US rejected the metric system because 10% of it's population thought it was some kind of socialist/commy plot to establish a one world government. Death panels? You betcha!

New_Z10

Well we have the metric system and our Prime Minister prorogues government - coincidence??? I think not!

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xamdam

Bye bye BlackBerry

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whatsever

News these days is all about copying without knowing it's true.

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BeautyEh

Re: BBontherise comment above.

BAM.

That is all.

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q8kabos

Blackberry Arabic
The first Arab channel for BlackBerry Arabs
( Live up including possession of satisfaction )
Open Date: 09/09/2013
Pin: C00120573

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mnc76

We should all know by now that BlackBerry taking way way too long to respond and letting the media beat the Crap out of them and just sitting back and taking it is part of the very heart and soul of how BlackBerry works.

They will never ever change. At one point I was confident they would... but I know better now.

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GiggleGoddess

Good to hear! BlackBerry seems to be a smart company...thinking before acting. I'm glad I joined team BlackBerry!

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Otech#CB

That's a big difference. Glad Blackberry stepped up and said something. It's important to release sensitive information before others release it. Blackberry can't afford to have stockholders selling their shares due to rumors. That being said, I am very pleased at the news of their transformation.

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Superfly_FR

Thanks for making it clear Chris !

Carlos PT

This is a critical time in BB´s history! Being a highly competitive market they´re in, with BIG companies, full of cash willing to do anything to "erase" threats to their own success, BB HAS TO BE ON MAXIMUM ALERT, it´s like being at war at the moment.
SO IN TIMES OF GREAT DIFFICULTY, GREAT MEASURES HAVE TO BE PUT IN PLACE .... and one of those measures would be to have a "PR CRISIS team" in place 24/7, responding, answering, correcting, informing, etc, etc. to all the media attacks that BB is being affected with !!!! My opinion.

besides that i want to ask BB again that, besides all the top hardware and OS their devices have to naturally have, to think DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN DESIGN .............. they can be efficient and sexy too ............. :-)

xanadome

Sounds to me a straight confirmation of the lay-off, with usual BBRY spin of "we are in the second phase of our transformation plan. As part of this transformation, BlackBerry will continually evaluate its organization – from top to bottom – to ensure we have the right people, with the right skills in the right locations to drive new opportunities in mobile computing.” Didn't we hear this exact narrative before?
Sorry for being skeptical but the patter is there. And its always reactionary, rather than pro-active, making their statement less credible.
But overall, it no longer matters any more, I would think.

Playbook007

Did you order your next iphone yet or not?

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

xanadome

No, but I have been waiting for a refined Q10 that will replace my 9900. But the hope is fading away by each passing day because of the sorry state of the management.
And, I did not mention anything about the iPhone. Why? :)
Is this the response you were expecting? :)

iwasspartacus

Because most critical analysis and commentary posted to this site around how BBRY competes in the smartphone space is met with some variant of 'why don't you just move on?'

So.... like the overwhelming majority of smartphone consumers worldwide ... some CB posters / BBRY users are moving on. It's not a fluke that BBRY recently fell to 4th place behind windows.

Everybody wins!

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Omahahaha

Thanks for the great article! Seriously.

GEO1ER

I agree with a lot of the comments BlackBerry needs to put out these status reports before it leaks. With that said, I think this was a smart move. I've been saying it for quite a while now,there marketing and advertising is substandard to put it kindly. I've started seeing some BlackBerry advertising on NYC Subways, mostly by Times Square but marketing is definitely important, perception is everything! It can help you or destroy you. Let's see how this pans out.

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koool1

BlackBerry has to get better at communication. These gaffs month after month perpetuates the rumors that they are going out of business.

Get with it BlackBerry!

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ranzabar

Basic Public Relations!!!!!!!
Lead the story. BlackBerry should have put THAT Information on the wire instead of just letting the layoffs fly.

DUMB!!!!!

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guitarrista

Indeed. Put out a press release - while the affected employees are being advised of the move - with a headline something like "BlackBerry re-locating US sales force to be closer to their markets" It would come in as a positive. It is disappointing how they continue to be dis-jointed in so many areas.

lawliet4401728

Too many lazy guys in BlackBerry just sit and wait for bankruptcy

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shlammed

Seriously trying to still spin this crap? RIM is dead...move along.

Berry-cracked-up

That's right....YOU should move along. If you think RIM is dead, than why are you on this site, and why are you posting? Get off this site if you think RIM is dead. Blackberry is still very much alive as far as I'm concerned.

iwasspartacus

Buy more of their devices then.

A 1:1 ratio of you purchasing a device for every 'why don't you move on' comment you post would be an amazing start.

Hellz... buy two devices for every post you make with that message.

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saint613

Even CBC news got it wrong this morning, said it was cutting jobs IN the US.

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edwinsberry

If this would have been done 1, 2, 3 years ago maybe it could have helped. As things stand now it's too late. All moves now have to be looked at with a skeptical eye. Every move now would be for positioning for sale to appeal to a suitor or as a prerequisite to a sale. I don't think worrying about getting out in front of this message is on the minds of these guys. The management is in reactionary and firefighting mode. Execs scrambling for quick fixes and dancing partners. Expecting good tactical PR at this point is probably hoping for too much. All that said, I am hopeful something good comes out of this for BlackBerry.

Playbook007

These articles are garbage. It's too late, they are done etc. Pile of trolls on this site. Why is it too late? They may be way behind apple and Samsung, but not on terms off technology. If BlackBerry only had 20 million customers you can still be in business. Even if they lose 100 million this quarter they will still be in business. They still have a lot of cash and still have no debt. They have inked deals recently with Panasonic and Garmin. Go read the article on n4bb regarding the resilient BlackBerry. That has been the best BlackBerry write up in years. BlackBerry will be fine and BB10 is awesome. If crackberry wants to throw the towel in go ahead. It will be one less BlackBerry bashing site!

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

iwasspartacus

Not a troll. Long time user, shareholder, evangelist who has been burned too many times in the last 12 months.

The government sector I've worked in (municipal) and corporate sector I currently work in (energy) are transitioning or have transitioned to BYOD. Which is code for Apple/Android.

I'm just fiddling while Rome burns at this point. I feel that the investments I've made and cannot recover allow me to point out how fully and completely the decison-makers at BBRY have shit the bed.

Having said all that.. look forward to the unboxing video of the Porsche model ha ha ha ha ha ha.

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lnichols

So they only had 60 Sales positions for the US, and they were all based out of Canada?!?! And they are only now correcting the situation and putting US sales in the US?!?! Does anyone else not find these statement to show what a huge CF that BlackBerry sales was in and a good explanation for the absolute complete disconnect with the US market? This revelation that it took this long to get US sales relocated to the US just disgusts me!

mzconsulting

I'm just flabbergasted that Bby was selling to the US from Canada. They seem to have no idea how to sell tickets the States. Need a strong US team and show gow BBY is good for America. They are competing with alk American companies in Apple Google and MS. Why should Americans go with a foreign company with this capability at home. Look at recent BP ads since Deep Water Horizon. They have a good old boy Americabn talk about how BP is good for America, jobs etc. Bby needs to dinner the same. Strong US team showing why American business runs on BBy. Etc.

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anon2100101

BlackBerry is forced to fight at several fronts and the company seems to be a very hard damaged battelship in enemy territory. We as the personnal of this brave dreadnought get no information from bridge. We all know, that the captain wont leave the ship lastly cause the Captains yacht is already prepaired well with dollars... But what should WE do? Stay and fight in rough see or should we take to the lifeboats? The Z30 will released around November. It will be a stillborn child if the bridge of the MS BlackBerry doesnt give a prospect for the future. Who wants to purchase a device of the loser of the battle? In my opinion BlackBerry has to state (before introduction of Z30) what will happen the complete next year to give either the Z30 a chance or to cut losses.... The fate of the captain should be bound up with the fate of BlackBerry to make sure the correct motivation....

xanadome

You are absolutely right. Always backroom dealings by failed executives. What has long been forgotten is the user part of the equation. As a business, they do not have to tell everything to the market, except shareholders, but we, users, are totally left in the dark, and only very sorry stories leaking out of BBRY, when they rush to patch it up with bandaids. I know I should not say this here, but BBRY should learn from Apple's precision execution.

MultiPlatt

Thanks for the clarification on the issue. I think moving a team to the US is smart but the other thing I would still like to see and maybe it will happen with this move is for there advertising to get better.

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smoothrunnings

Soon BlackBerry will be gone and we won't have to talk about this stuff anymore. I am looking forward to that! :)

svelt

Thanks for the clarification

Nathend

Sept 27th , is that not the Day for the Announcement of the Next Quarterly sales ?

TabletsRUs

A super company like Apple had their stock drop $3 a share yesterday because the keynote was not all they hopped, so I'm not surprised Blackberry's stock dropped even though there was clarification. Investors are fickle and panic to fast.

adonesc

As if that makes 60 people loosing their jobs any better , while Mr. Heins stands to make $55.4 million dollars should the company fail under his leadership, something that at this point seems more and more likely.

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khanig

Anytime a company cuts a sales force, it is not good news. BBRY, and this is just my opinion, started "losing" customers when they delayed and delayed the Z10. I remember when I was anticipating anxiously (you know how we get!) the Z10 coming out, and then BBRY says, well, not yet. Maybe in xyz. Xyz came and went, then another and another. Many people I knew that liked BB (I had a Torch and thought it was the best phone I ever had up to that point) were very disappointed with the delays and then the applications issue. They saw other phones (it didn't matter what brand, Apple, Android, etc...) and what they could do, and many thought that they were at least equal to the BB's they had. A couple of friends bought a Z10 when it finally came out and were disappointed in its performance, lack of updates and service, a hassle factor (granted their perception), application issues of course, and moved on to other devices that, using their old BB phone as a standard, met their needs. Just a casual look through the comments on Crackberry by probably I think the most informed,helpful, and just plain nice people on any of these kinds of sites and hope seems to be waning. I hope I'm wrong. I'd like to see BB succeed.

PassionateKisses37

BlackBerry hired about 40 enterprise sales people in USA this past month, the Canadian lay offs were coming regardless of these hires, and more are on the way. The sole job functions for these new USA employees and all enterprise sales teams: 1) Retain existing BES users/stop the flight to other MDM, and 2) Sell BES 10 licenses. The entire business sales team is focused only on BES licenses...there is no focus about BB10 device sales (another reason many people knew that the company would be split before it was announced). This creates confusion in the company and with carriers and customers: the Carrier account managers are tasked with sell-to of devices to carriers; but there are no device sell-through teams left, and sell-through has different focus (BES) than sell-to (BB 10 devices).

Back in June BlackBerry internal recruiters stared reaching out to the top performers that had left the company or been laid off in the past few years. They went through internal interviews and the ones making the cut were invited to in-person interviews in NYC, LA, Dallas and SFO with the hiring managers. The process took about 2-3 weeks longer than expected .....and the bad news about BlackBerry being up for sale hit as the offers were going out. BlackBerry offered up to 25% pay raises over their prior salaries at BlackBerry. The ex-employees with good jobs or who knew the inside scoop refused to interview or turned down the offers. Others said management had not changed, especially in Canada at VP or Executive VP level in sales and products; some that went back took the jobs because of the pay and the short term benefits, and how long it will take for a sale or breakup of the company to affect their positions.

The internal recruiters were fired right after they hired these 40 people...meaning there is a lack of opportunity within BlackBerry going forward. The word inside BlackBerry is the next employees expected to be laid off are the contract consumer marketing companies used for promotions and retail activities worldwide, and then internal BlackBerry consumer marketing teams since there BlackBerry is now focused on enterprise, and has lost the consumer space Don't be surprised is the carrier account manages in the USA and other regions are consolidated further - if devices aren't selling, and the manufacturing is being outsourced or JV'd why have a sales team that has nothing to sell, when carriers are not buying?.

BlackBerry is not known for strategic planning: they used their relationships with carrier to force them to buy from the distributors to boost device sales in the quarter, which helped Wall Street numbers for one quarter. The next quarter the carriers were overloaded, and could not unload al the devices, so sell through was dismal and required lots of write downs and marketing efforts, which was reflected in Wall Street too.

This same problems may recur with the BES focus: moving from BES 5 to BES 10 (whether with free upgrades or paid licenses) is shell game in a way. BlackBerry can announce an Q3 the increase of BES 10 licenses (and SRV codes which track new servers in their NOC), but it does not mean an uptake in BES customers/net new corporate accounts. The growth and numbers may not be sustainable in the long term: The competition has much more robust and mature offerings that include BB 10, Windows, iOS, Android and laptop device management, and additional features missing from BES. BlackBerrry has not shared their roadmap for BES or a release schedule. Outside the USA there was a stronger demand for BES, and less competition in the MDM space in the emerging markets - but that is quickly changing. I do not know of any company which has moved from AirWatch, SAP Afaria, Fibrelink, MobileIron or another Gartner Group leader's quadrant MDM solution to BES 10 (except for specific regulated industry requirements)...but there are many that moved from BES to alternatives.

The Q2 announcements should be very interesting to see, as well as which executives and legacy directors/managers will be moving on.

New_Z10

These comments seem to not bode well for BlackBerry. It seems like they are throwing in the towel.

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bigpuffer

This seems perfectly in line with BB's past and current mismanagement. They're asleep at the wheel.

RonBro66

Firing the sales team from top bottom would be suffice.

Supa_Fly1

Why are we talking - damn nexus 4 & Chrome, 9 tabs open nothing streaming and a contaft app and this thing is SLOWER than a sloth - About gutting a sales force team When theyre JUST moving employees

tatame

Walk into any cell carrier in America and apple has their products as their own stand-alone spot. I have literally walked into 2 different stores here, at&t and Verizon and they both had the z10 in its box, off, and behind the counter. Completely unavailable, out of sight, non-existent. They want to fix some problems, that's where they start!!!

SimonJamesPT

I don't know about anything else... I just can look at the picture of the news. That girl is so pretty! I think I'm falling in love! :D

CassaraRadio

"BlackBerry will continually evaluate its organization – from top to bottom – to ensure we have the right people, with the right skills in the right locations to..."

... make ourselves as attractive as possible to a potential buyer.

You know, we'll never know what really went on inside the company until someone writes "The Rise and Fall of BlackBerry" ten years from now.