RIM to continue layoffs, 3,000 exiting the company before the end of the second quarter

RIM sad
By Jared DiPane on 31 Jul 2012 01:29 am EDT

The news is not new, in fact we knew that RIM was letting go of employees for quite some time now, and it appears as though August may be the month in which the remaining 3,000 employees are actually let go. Cantech Letter has been informed by some sources that these employees may be departing from the company as early as August 13, which comes just two weeks before the end of Q2, August 31. While layoffs are no fun, we've gone over why they are unfortunately a neccesary evil at this point.

According to the sources, jobs for those working on the company’s new Blackberry 10 operating system are generally safe, as are those who work in enterprise sales. The areas facing the deepest cuts are customer service, human resources, marketing, non-enterprise sales and RIM’s Global Repair Services.

These cuts will bring RIM's total headcount down around 10,000 employees, about half of their peak count, but this is all part of their cost cutting plan.

Source: Cantech Letter 

Jared DiPane Jared DiPane "News Writer for Mobile Nations
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Reader comments

RIM to continue layoffs, 3,000 exiting the company before the end of the second quarter


Sad to see so many people lose theyre jobs. I really hope RIM rebounds next year so they can get there jobs back.

necessary evil it is. just waiting for BB10 to kick the s*** out of competition.

Layoffs are never good why they wanna layoff the people that helped keep rim a float and keeping the bb10 people doesn't seem right to me.

Not sure why they'd keep the BB10 crew either - it's just the next-gen OS. The cuts are unfortunate, true; however I'm guessing they aren't getting rid of the mentioned departments entirely. They're slimming them down, possibly having some employees doubling up on tasks plus bringing in some temps until they get to a point where they feel they can afford to rehire.

They're getting rid of a lot of people that are not educated in bb10 and only know legacy stuff for older blackberrys.

That's like having 3 techs at best buy that specialize in vcr repairs, just isn't worth it.

It has nothing to do with specializing in certain projects. Its all salary dump, so makes perfict sense that they are letting go those that worked their the longer as they get paid more. The newer recruits geg penuts compared to them. Still crappy though, nice way of Rim saying thank you to those being let go.

Of course they are not getting rid of those departments. The Company cannot operate without them. They are just reducing the amount of people within them. It is a common practice during hard times.

My first sentence was sarcastic. On the rest of my post, I prefer not to say yay or nay concretely even though it's standard practice - I wasn't personally handed the final list of cuts so it's not my place to say who's staying, going, or getting transferred.

This announcement only confirms the rumors about the earlier lay-offs not being a fait accompli. Hopefully, those laid-off employees will land on their feet and avoid an extended period of unemployment. My sources said something was afoot based upon a recent visit of a senior management type from Waterloo. At this point, 2013 cannot arrive soon enough and maybe the road to recovery lay ahead instead of the washed out bridge over a ravine.

"Cuts in customer service, marketing and RIM’s repair services"

Yeah...that will help grow the brand and enhance end user satisfaction.

yeah and you know exactly who is losing their jobs and how it will affect services. Mind sharing your crystal ball with us all.

Its not like the ones in that position are doing a great job of it anyway. Besides isn't RIM converting to a global message in its future marketing instead of having many regional campaigns?

Right, because those marketing folks up till now have been doing a steller job with the first professional grade tablet marketing campaign etc.

We should keep those folks...


The marketing team may be doing a commendable job with what they have to work with. When you have no solid corporate strategy for today's products, you have nothing. Their hands are tied.

I think your math is off a bit, after the layoffs employee count will be over 11,500.

It's unfortunate for all that will be losing their jobs but at least many if not all have the skill sets to move on to bigger and better things plus a severance package in their back pocket. Good luck to them all

While I understand the need to do this, I'm still more on the "we need to lean out before we get bought out" side of the fence.

With 18,000 or so employees, they accomplished a huge disaster of a PlayBook launch coupled with huge delays subsequent PlayBook OS releases. Anyone who knows anything knows that PlayBook OS and BlackBerry 10 are essentially the same OS and now that is super delayed. What makes anyone think they'll do better with fewer resources (not to mention over working the ones who remain)?

One of the advantages a company like Apple or Samsung has is the endless amount of resources to push their products out. Doesn't Samsung employ something like 300,000 people worldwide? And Apple has something like 60,000?

While I don't necessarily disagree, you also can't compare Apple and Samsung resources to RIMs. Apple produces PCs and iPods..and Sammy produces a whole host of consumer electronics (including ovens, microwaves, refridgerators, washers, dryers, etc.).

I get that, I just don't see how they can possibly keep up with companies like Apple and Samsung and deliver products frequently and on-time with fewer and fewer resources.

On the other hand, hopefully getting rid of these people will help with internal politics and layers of management pulling teams in different directions only to realize that they've now delayed a project by a year because of how far off track they went (ask anyone internally about BBM for PlayBook and what a disaster that was).

Quality over quantity.

Having worked at RIM for a time, I can tell you how bloated the departments were - for every person that did quality work, there are 4 or 5 that coast along and don't contribute.

If the layoffs are done properly - and that's a big if - then this will be a leaner, more focused company that can provide better support for its customers (by having customer service that understands and can actually troubleshoot the product) and deliver on its targets by having fewer cooks in the kitchen.

i think their problem is that they are "forced" to lay off people because of others leaving the company.
by "others" i mean customers. i myself got rid of playbook last week because i am too tired to wait for their promissed (and delayed) update. Could not justify having a device that looses its warranty without being really used.
still have my Torch, but, unfortunately, more and more looking to the Apple side.

If you found little to no value in your PlayBook, you likely didn't know how to use it. I love mine for the portability and the ability to display 1080p via HDMI out.

That's got nothing to do with it. Maybe RIM should release another uncooked update and get people ticked off again? We all now know it's a waiting game for a company that's struggling to regain its lustre. People will continue to leave the brand, but there are still people coming to it.

i think these layoffs are necessary. I had a friend/coworker who worked at rim once as a co-op and she said she absolutely did nothing in the 4 months stay. She doesn't even know what her manager or department does, if not anything.

So sad to see this Canadian institution crumbling before our very eyes. I for one have remained loyal and will continue to be loyal because quite frankly, I love my bold and have loved every device I've used over the last 8 years.

A recently had two friends return to their Bold 9900 after switching to Apple. Physical keyboard and push services being their biggest issues.

Apple has won the marketing war ... No doubt. Consumers these days are easily sucked into "toys". People follow trends and there is no doubt that the iphone has been the trndiest device the last two years.

RIM has one last chance with BB10. Here are my own persoanl views.

1. BB10 is a hit and gains developer support. Public is wowed by the device (which MUST) have something unique to BB and me highly marketable.
2. Critical that they don't miss holiday shopping season. Maybe they can afford to miss back to school but they must get that phone to market by Christmas.
3. If they fail with BB10 then their BIS, Enterprise and BBM will be sold off to the highest bidder and we might just see them fold the tent.
4. Never rule out a merger of sorts...they do have perhaps the best chat program (BBM) on any mobile device and for my money at least, nothing beats a physical keyboard.

RIM's founders got fat, rich and lazy. Because of that they failed to stay with the trends and bled market share as a result.

I hope for a rebound but I can't see it being available for the holiday shopping season; unless Thorstein wants to break his first promise of a Q1 2013 release date (The trolls will then say he does not have a handle on the business blah, blah, blah). Perhaps it could be available for pre-sale during the holiday season.

Sad to see it come down to this. It is however a necessary evil. 3,000 jobs is a lot to a company like RIM and the entire region will be hit hard. It is however not just a RIM problem as major technology companies over the globe are restructuring and cutting costs in this difficult economy. My mom was laid off by Nortel when it went bankrupt, so I understand the difficulties this could cause for all the employees of RIM. I wish them the best of luck in their job hunting efforts and a quick return to a stable career.