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WSJ reports big layoffs at BlackBerry

By Chris Umiastowski on 18 Sep 2013 03:03 pm EDT
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The Wall Street Journal just reported that BlackBerry could be laying off up to 40% of staff. This information, reported by Will Connors, who follows the company very closely, comes from people “familiar with the matter”.  Just to make sure this is clear, all this means is that the sources do not want to be described or named.  If it was only one source, they would probably not have gone out with the story, so I think it’s safe to say they have multiple sources.

Information like this can be wrong, but it wouldn’t surprise me if BlackBerry was planning a steep round of cuts.  We have to remember that this is still a company adapting from one that is build around BBOS to one build around QNX.  The developer tools are different.  The programming language is different.  The skills required by employees are different.  The sales volume is drastically different (unfortunately) and even the NOC is used differently than before.  Things are changing, and it’s certainly logical to do as many cuts as possible.  Especially when you are bound to be losing so much service revenue as the customer base either leaves you, or turns onto BlackBerry 10 which doesn’t generate nearly the same service revenue (if any).

Right now the company seems to be unwilling to comment on any details around this story.  A company spokesperson told the WSJ, “Organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities in mobile computing.”   I think people will interpret this as a soft admission that the story is largely accurate.

Topics: BBRY Editorial

Reader comments

WSJ reports big layoffs at BlackBerry

376 Comments

Given the source is the WSJ owned by Mr Murdoch - who has a love in with Apple - it's not that odd.

Good news for BlackBerry today, in the shape of the Z30 and arrival of BBM for Android and iOS, and suddenly the WSJ has a bad news story.

I doubt it's a coincidence.

But while this may be negative PR for the company, don't make the mistake in thinking this is bad news for BlackBerry. Dropping 40% of your staffing costs isn't bad news except for the staff. A few years ago RIM sold just as many phones with half the current staff (or less even).

In fact, if BlackBerry can maintain at least current levels of production and service, it's actually very good news for shareholders.

Letting go about 40% of your existing labor force probably means there's a sale around the corner according to some.

Posted via CB10

Sad, unfortunately, that BlackBerry has lobbied the Canadian government to allow for a foreign takeover to save Canadian jobs when they cut half their workforce.

Makes sense what Chris said but this is so bad for BlackBerry. All this negativity is hurting their reputation therefore ppl interested in getting, upgrading to a Q10 /Z10, now Z30 or BES10 won't because of uncertainty of BlackBerry's future.

Posted via CB10

Actually I'm hearing on city pulse that this massive layoffs could potentially mean BlackBerry got bought and the buyer wanted BlackBerry to get rid of a number of ppl. Hope they didn't get bought :(

Posted via CB10

I have shares and didn't receive any notice about a vote to accept an offer so those iPhone toting news reporters at city are wrong IMO.

Posted via CB10

Right now this story is just 'from people “familiar with the matter”'.

A major action of this kind would only be known by a handful of senior executives, none of whom would be stupid enough to make their job more difficult by being a source to WSJ (and they could well be in breach of various laws if they did).

It follows that this information is either a. malicious and ill intended but false, or b. sourced from folks who have been involved in talks with BlackBerry, and who have inferred such action from information received in the talks.

Either way you can bet this wasn't leaked for the good of BlackBerry. It may be that cuts are needed but they certainly wouldn't be leaked to the press in this manner.

what company just took on a lot of head count and doesn't need any more head count? What company is closing a deal in November, when BB is rumored to announce a sale?

Since the PB debacle people already do not want to buy any new device any more from BB...that's their own fault! Even the rats are leaving the boat...

US media loves to hate Blackberry and it seems Blackberry is reciprocating and hence the Z30 launch in Malaysia. Right move in my opinion. If Blackberry treats US like a small market then it can still make money by focusing else where, but for that it needs to cut cost and price its products right.

The timing on this is extremely suspect. The story is likely true, and Chris has outlined some compelling reasons why it would be. The company is changing, and not everyone currently there is going to be needed in the future. Those workers who wind up being cut have my respect and sympathy, but I can't imagine that anybody has felt much of any job security at BB in the past two years. There is no plausible scenario going forward that doesn't include huge staff reductions; either BB gets bought and dismantled, or they continue on their own and cut expenses as best they can to remain sustainable.

All that said, I hope somebody at BB holds the WSJ to account on this story. If it's true, did they sit on it? Granted, their sources may have timed their discussions with the media to harm the company on a launch day, but I also know that John Paczkowski at AllThingsD (a WSJ sub-site, remember) has had an at times irrational hate-on for BB for a long time.

Past that, no, I wouldn't put it past Apple or Microsoft to quietly suggest to a journalist that they might get better "access" if they time a story to be most damaging to a competitor. Read Steve Jobs' biography and you'll see that Apple hasn't been above pressuring tech writers at all when it suited their agenda.

+1. Adversely reflecting on a person's fitness to conduct their business or trade is slander. The writers of articles like this appear to be walking a line that *implies* BlackBerry may not be in a position to conduct their business (i.e. support their products and services) going forward and you can see that conclusion is being reached by some people in the comment sections. Disgusting. CrackBerry would do well to avoid commenting on articles like this.

Well said as usual, but at this point it's far beyond kicking them while they're down. Are they still that scared of the company?

Posted via CB10

It's not "fear", it's "business". If BB leaves the consumer handset business (not to mention the enterprise business), they'll leave tens of millions of users to migrate to other platforms. They'll also leave manufacturing capacity and valuable patents.

They may not be the strongest competitor right now, but that doesn't mean there isn't a desire to eliminate them completely.

Buck, you're seriously buying into the conspiracy theories against BlackBerry? I've always enjoyed your perspective but I'm disappointed. Even I wouldn't go that far.

It's not a conspiracy. It's fact. Open your eyes!

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

Agreed. Take a look at EVERY BGR.com article and read the comments as well. It's absolutely ludicrous!!! And this happens far too often and spans across way too much media....

It's unusual timing, and at the very least it's discourteous (believe it or not, media relations in the business news industry does have its own etiquette). Generally, no, you don't see media go out of their way to publish bad news on a company the same day they're engaged in an event like a product launch.

This piece is vague and speculative, and didn't contain any hard fact that couldn't have waited at least a day. The timing seems calculated to deliberately deflate any positive buzz there might have been from the Z30 launch.

This isn't the first time we've seen coverage like this. It isn't even the first time we've seen it from WSJ. I don't know what specific motivation might have been behind it, but I DO know that there are parties with an interest in derailing BB's recovery.

That they do, but to play games through the media to derail the recovery of a player who currently owns 1% of the market is ludicrous.

Not at all ludicrous if you subscribe to the belief that companies will do whatever it takes to increase market share and eliminate competition, (or mitigate risk from a company that might pose a lager threat in the future). Politics works the same way and one just needs to look at the media in the US ( fox vs msnbc) to see this.

Posted from BlackBerry Z10

That depends on whether you can see a similar crash on the horizon.

iPhone 5s isn't exactly earth shattering. Apples minimum sales deals with Verizon etc that have skewed the US market are coming to an end. The future looks bleak for Apple.

If you add that Verizon is apparently going to push the Z30, they have lots of reasons to try an kill off any competition.

Bashing and conspiracy theories are two different things. When we have CrackBerry readers like Thunderbuck pitching conspiracy theories, we know we've sunk to a new low.

With these media blitz and loss of mind share no I don't. Be realistic, this is business practice and there is an agenda here....

+1

And for those who are rolling their eyes and crying "conspiracy"...it's not conspiracy, it's merely dirty business tactics that, whether you like it or not, is used by many major companies to snuff out their competitions. Just recently, certain chocolate factories are found guilty of price-fixing the commodity, and Apple guilty for price-fixing eBooks with publishers. Dirty tactics and yes they do use it.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

Yes the whole world is against BlackBerry products. They can report on the info whenever they like. It's not insider trading. Maybe they are laying off staff because the sales of their products don't support employing them! BlackBerry is failing because of mediocre products- not some conspiracy by the Apple Illuminati!

Posted via CB10

I wonder if you're wilfully misinterpreting what we're saying. Not questioning the accuracy of the story, or its overall validity as news.

I AM questioning the timing, and the editorial judgment. No, typically you don't break a story like this deliberately on a day when the company is trying to project a good news message. It's bad form. The item's value as news is even questionable, since we've known for over a year that BlackBerry is engaged in cost reduction and that staff cuts are a big part of that.

The timing of the piece undermines consumer confidence in the company's survival, just as they're actually making an announcement intended to build confidence. That could just be coincidence, but I don't think so.

From the awesome PHYSICAL keyboard of my Q10

True! But at the same time how do you bring confidence in ppl buying / upgrading to your product when you make it known that your company is up for sale?

Posted via CB10

There actually are scenarios where the BlackBerry brand could succeed. In fact, with every day that passes, there are more BB10 users and the platform becomes slightly more viable.

The market share argument is a red herring right now. The smartphone market is expanding rapidly so market share is likely to shift. All BlackBerry needs to do right now is sell enough phones to make a profit and to attract at least some developers. The trouble is, given the company's vulnerability it's easy to build a narrative that suggests imminent failure, even if that isn't exactly what's happening.

Show me the quote where the company said it was up for sale. Not the Wall Street Journal, not some "analyst", not some anonymous source - from BlackBerry. The whole quote please.

Absolute nonsense. Bad form? The WSJ owes credible timely reporting to its readership- its not bad form because some people at Crackberry will get hurt feelings . Did you read the article? I did. It's fair, balanced, remarks on the launch of the z30. It remarks on Heins cost cutting measures.

Posted via CB10

This is so true, the USA is in love with their iPhone. Journalism requires readership so they seek every means to be heard and read.

Posted via CB10

I agree with you 100%. Companies invest in their media relationships, and there's an awful lot of cooperation that goes into the messaging. Reporters like having access to sources who will feed them into, and in turn, they typically operate within certain boundaries - including giving companies a heads up when reporting potentially negative news ( and giving them an opportunity to react). It’s unusual that thus type of negative info would be published in the middle of a launch unless the publisher had an agenda or zero relationship with the company.

Keith H. Posted via CB10

"They can report on the info whenever they like"

Not for a public company they can't.

Anyone who genuinely had access to this information would have signed a non-disclosure agreement.

If it's true, and I'm not saying it is, someone broke a contract and if discovered will be legally liable.

That would make all the iPhone reviews that try real hard to find exciting new features make sense. And all the bb10 reviews that try real hard to pick it apart as well. Emphasis on try in both cases, there is a bias going on that only money makes any sense of.

Posted via CB10

"at times irrational hate-on for BB"

Hate on BB perhaps (though I have seen him write quite balanced items), but "irrational" - I doubt.

There's so much money spilling around the smartphone industry, nothing happens by accident. It's all rational, and all lucrative.

Oh that John Paczkowski from AllthingsD. That guy is something, does he even write about any other company? I am quite sure he is paid to bash Blackberry. What a moron.

I think it's a bit egotistical to suggest Apple or Google had a hand in this story as BlackBerry is about much threat to those guys as I a fly on an elephant's ass....

The story has been leaked by BBRY and means that handset sales have ground to halt sadly. This is a form of 'pre annoucement'....

Heins has managed to crash this company straight into the ground and it's a sad day for all.

Z30? What a joke.

Posted via CB10

This is just the plan they have to create value for the company so they can sell at a higher price. I mean look at the price of the stock. It hasn't gone below $10.00 in a while. Why do you think that is? It's all part of the master plan. The good news is there's seems to be some interest in the BB10 O/S. That means it wont necessarily die like Web OS did when it was acquired. We may see more BB10 O/S phones most likely with a different hardware paltform than we've seen as of late. That's not such a bad thing either.

Yes, I would agree. New flagship device released with all the good karma that follows, until the media can find some negative spin.

I think it is a given that further lay offs are necessary, but to "coat-tail" this story on the good press from today is curious.

This is especially true when it hasn't been factually proven, as in, someone putting there name to the numbers, or an actual press release from BBRY.

I didn't think it before, but maybe there is something to the anti-BBRY media conspiracy.

In any event, I hope sales pick up and we can be rid of all this nonsense, doom and gloom (at least until it actually comes close to happening).

It may not happen, but it is my hope nonetheless.

Posted via CB10

"I didn't think it before, but maybe there is something to the anti-BBRY media conspiracy."

Check the ownership of news media websites....

And if it should come to pass that the doors are shuttered in Waterloo, I hope the media focus all the BS reporting towards the folks at Cupertino.

If their favourite target is gone, who you think they're going to focus on next...won't be the company with the OS that's currently leading and eroding iOS share everyday.

When they pry the Z10 from my "cold dead hand" they can replace it with an Android.

Apple will never see a red cent from my household. Call it fanboi-ism if you want!

Posted via CB10

Exactly. If BlackBerry were to fall, someone will be the next target. It could be Apple themselves.

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

Have you been watching Apples stock price.

They're in deep doo doo. And given the lack luster iPhone 5s/5c, I doubt their situation is going to improve.

They had minimum sales contracts with Verizon etc that are coming to an end. My guess is Verizon won't be caught twice.

And since Verizon appears to be taking the Z30 early, perhaps it's payback time for Apple.

Short that stock!

Also what's interesting is that BlackBerry is at the University of Waterloo today for a BlackBerry Co-Op Event. Why would a company that is taking a chainsaw to their workforce be looking to HIRE new employees?

This, coupled with the extremely suspicious timing makes me VERY suspicious about it's accuracy.

Because they have the WRONG talent to compete in today's smartphone space.

Many crackberry posters have commented on the abilities of Frank the CMO for instance. He can go.

And... the team that worked so hard on moving BB10 to PB and led the execs/BOD to communicate 'on target' to their customers, partners, the street and 3rd party developer before abruptly pulling the plug? They can't execute either. So they can go to.

Saunders can also go because he's already built a relationship with S4BB and appears unable to do the same with Instagram, Netflix and others. So yeah... he can go.

Posted via CB10

It's appalling those most responsible for the sputtering of BlackBerry 10 (the executive) are completely safe, while those with their nose to the grind every day to try to make it a success (the employees) are on the chopping block.

Not sure that I understand. Are you saying that they weren't going to lay the folks until the story was leaked to the press?

The good news is: it will be a heck of a lot easier to find a good parking place in the parking lot next week. The bad news is: you won't need to park in the parking lot beginning next week.

That's what they always used to say when I got layed off working construction.

Why would this affect your decision to get a BlackBerry Z30? The Z30 is already designed and in production; not buying a Z30 is only going to hurt them more.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on 10.2.0.1443.

This is why I am buying a Z30 - when it comes out / have anyone noticed that they actually on or ahead of schedule. I remember roumers going, that they wouldn't make it for the holiday.

It'll still be running the greatest os with better power, and even better android capabilities

Even better Android capabilities ? What ?
LMAO
Oh brothers. Some BB users really need to check reality at the DOOR.

What is wrong with his comment? He stated 'better android abilities' because it has the updated runtime (going from gingerbread to ice-cream sandwich) allowing for even more apps than before meaning even less reason not to get a BlackBerry phone if you are obsessed with apps.

Nothing wrong with that.

BlackBerry Z30 will support all the Z10 software out the gate so you don't have to worry about apps. I've been running Q10SQN100-1/10.2.0.1725 for the past 2 days and I have to say the future is very bright, all the apps I couldn't run are now working flawlessly (but I can't log in to google maps though) and install BOA app which is only useful for check deposits.
BlackBerry isn't going anywhere, ask the DOD..

Posted via CB10

I will keep my family in our 4 z10's for the time being. I want BBRY to succeed but with so much uncertainty I can't justify spending anymore money on new products. This will be the FIRST time I will be taking the wait and see approach with BBRY.

Posted via CB10

Honestly, 10.2 is launching on z30 but coming to all bb10 devices. 10.2.1 or 10.3 will be on next HW, and there will still be MRs for all in market devices until such time as BlackBerry says they will stop supporting them (a la PB). There are enough "leaks" to know they have new HW products in the chute for H1'14, and they will have the SW to run with it.
I would only pass on the z30 because of the specs (s4 pro when other are shipping s800? Still 720p?) than because I have any concerns with the long term support model for the handset. Even PB which is "dead" is getting MRs, and app updates, etc. I'll be happy with my z10 until they launch their 5" 1080p device, and if that never materializes... then I guess I'll pick up something else that runs BBM and SWS.

This isn't true.. we have a working 10.2.1 already running on a Z10.. the Z10 and Q10 won't be left behind, if you think that you're insane.. we are talking about a minor upgrade from 10.0 to 10.2 in terms of all it does is add additional features and such. Just as old versions of the iPhone are getting the OS7 upgrade from their OS6 phone, BBOS10 phones will too get the updates of 10.3/4/5/6 even OS11.. just drop this PlayBook junk already. That was a COMPLETELY different scenario and hardware.. OS improvements don't require crazy new hardware, which most of OS10 is going to just be OS improvements like adding back old features from Legacy and new features e.g. the actional notifications.

- Developer of 'Web Design Cheat Sheet' for BB10 (Posted via CB10)

"Coming to all bb10 devices" meaning all in-market devices. And the product after z30 will launch with either 10.2.1 or 10.3. Not sure I could have been less clear.

I agree with you until the BB11 part. Not so sure they will make it work on the current BB10 phones, and not because they'll be out of business either. Technical specifications and general planned obsolescence will more likely than not prevent it.

Posted via CB10

Actually, they make shitload of stuff. Let's not forget they're supporting three different platforms at the moment. 40% drop is excessive, 20-30% would just mean they're dropping BBOS development

It is funny timing. Perhaps the same people that were familiar with the earlier "gutting" of the US sales force?

Either way, today they hit two launches on time, again. Also exceeded launch expectations for the Z30.

A voting machine when what matters in the end is the actual weight.

Posted via CB10

No lol I think that is a good possibility. The announcement for the Z30 and BBM cross platform were known to be coming... What better way to eclipse / undercut good news?

Posted via CB10

Yeah, but business hasn't been going as usual for several years => most of those people were unproductive.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on 10.2.0.1443.

No the weren't. You can't layoff 40% of your staff without a huge change in operations. This probably means they are shutting down the hardware business.

Probably? I understand you make a link between the two, but you don't have a clue. It could just be that since they sell less phones, they need less people to support them, especially older BBOS phones.

Posted via CB10

Well, if you think of all the acquisitions they made a couple of years ago, one would think layoffs of the old BBOS would be the result. But not sure about 40%, that would be drastic.

I don't know that it necessarily means they're shutting down the hardware business. Most of the hardware is manufactured offshore. See if their main manufacturer is reducing staff..

Keith H. Posted via CB10

What if... it were a reduction in the staff that was involved in legacy os, noc, or things not directly related to OS10? I don't think that the sky is falling yet!

Visit my BBM Channel at C00121065 for photography of the Great Pacific Northwest!

Sounds like none of BlackBerry's strategic options are working out as they had hoped. They might have to go it alone in 2014.

Not really.

They only had 5 or 6 thousand employees during the good times. And if sales are falling they could probably manage with less than that. They grew staffing levels faster than the market indicated. Pretty dumb to be honest - though easy to say in hindsight.

They just need to be sure to keep the important folk in R&D.

Well, that should also be largely predictable -- BlackBerry themselves predicted more losses for this past quarter, so at least that much should be little surprise. We'll find out soon.

You know, I think you might be right. It would make sense to me if they transitioned to software only, like Google a few years ago. This would save huge costs and their hardware division is the biggest money loser. Focusing on the OS, MDM, BES, and BBM would make them a profitable company with a good future.

I this is true the company is dead it won't be able to move forward fast enough on so little staff. FFS BlackBerry PR set the record straight. Tired of this s*** and the rumour mill.

CB10 - Z10 -10.2.0.1725

BlackBerry PR won't say anything as they perceive anything they do say will be negatively spun by the press.
They fail to understand that silence is not an option.

Oh blackberry, you continue to shit on yourself. Probably not the best for that type of information to be released the same day as the Z30 launch, BBM going cross platform etc.

Posted via CB10

Of course that is a leaked information by some BlackBerry employees, not a planned press release. At least, not yet. And nothing is said about the date of the layoff.

Posted via CB10

"leaked information by some BlackBerry employees"

BlackBerry employees wouldn't know about something like this until it was about to happen. Only a handful of senior execs would know about such a thing. And they're not likely to say anything for fear of being held accountable.

It's more likely that during negotiations with third parties cost cutting plans may have been discussed. Either way, it isn't actually true until the board decides it's true and as a public company they have to announce something as significant as this.

Way to kill off any excitement you might have generated from a weak Z30 announcement and likely a weak BBM announcement tomorrow. Get your Shit together BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

It becuz the staff takes 12months to produce anything. BBM should of been designed, built, tested and approved in a months time.

Posted via CB10

You're putting a positive spin on the lay-off of 40% of the workforce due to skillset. What a load of horse manure. BB is where they are today because of gross mismanagement of a Canadian icon by the upper echelon, dwindling marketshare and as we know management will not suffer as they continue to drive this company to obscurity. Sad day for Canada and shame on you, how insensitive!

Management could be rich beyond their wildest dreams through stock options if BlackBerry is successful. The hell if they won't suffer, just instead of not being able to feed their family it could be not having that 3rd vacation home. But still, they give up a lot if BlackBerry bites the dirt.

Posted via CB10

I'd like to say this is crazy, but given the dire circumstances the company is facing, not unexpected. It's sad because you take the heart and soul out of a company when you take action like this and end up with "9 to 5" staff who have no real emotional commitment to the company. This is another sad chapter in the Blackberry saga.....

This is part of normal re-structuring. Many company's layoff staff. What the wsj failed to mention is this 40% number accounts for total layoffs for the entire year IMO.
Anyhow take this as a positive and a strong will to accelerate BB10 adoption via re-structuring the company so it may run more efficient.

All the talk about BBRY not being around in the near future is complete rubbish and nonsense; all taken from un-named sources and here say comments. Seeking Alpha is one culprit that allows ridiculous opinionated articles to get published despite how Anti-BBRY they are presenting nothing but FACT-LESS information, and giving the perception that its facts. Most of them flat out LIE.

Hasn't BlackBerry already made a response to the WSJ article?

It's really sad to see all these blog site post things as quickly as possible and not verify stories before posting. I would have thought CrackBerry would have done better after the fake Samsung twitter post article.

Posted via CB10

The title of the article is "WSJ reports big layoffs at BlackBerry". The way to validate this post is to check to ensure that the WSJ did indeed report such a story. Crackberry.com can neither confirm nor deny the validity of the WSJ article. That's something that only BlackBerry can do. They're putting the info out to be discussed by BlackBerry fans.

Keith H. Posted via CB10

It's like they don't want to see blackberry do good. With major announcements coming this morning. They just put this out to damper everything. Geesh I mean come on WSJ. At least wait till next week or the week after everything has settle down. Smh. Don't worry blackberry is in it for the long fight.

9000 > 9800 > 9900 > Z10

Oddly enough, this happens on the same day that I receive an email saying that they're looking for software developers.

Posted via CB10

Someone or people are hell bent on spoiling BlackBerry's party. No wonder BlackBerry launched the Z30 in Malaysia. Why didn't WSJ announce the Z30 launch with a big splash too?

Posted via CB10

Yep. Replace "people familiar with the situation " with "people who are paid to plant stories in compliant media outlets"

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry is being run to the ground by a bunch of egotistical executives who only care about their buyout packages

Very sad when you have a great product

Posted via CB10

They are going full ODM on Hardware. Most of their US workforce will be gone by Christmas, and cuts to Canada and Germany will be close behind, including likely their entire mfg plant in Waterloo. Doesn't really have as much to do with change from BBOS to BB10 as the last ~5000 person cut trimmed that workforce already. Remember they were 20k people in 2011, cut 10% down to 17.5k, then cut another 5k in 2012, and have "lost" a further 2000 employees voluntarily (or in smaller rounds that don't generate as much press - they just cut 200 ppl from mfg a couple months back).

Shit decision, but if all you care about are OPRX targets and COHS reduction, then "what is good for shareholders" may be different than "what is good for the company/ customers"

They will focus much more on SaaS for multi platform and wind down their HW to maybe 2-3 new handsets per year vs 6-8 like they have been doing past 5 yrs. Back in 2003/4/5 they were only 2000-3000 people globally and we're producing basically 2 new handsets a year. That is what a "niche" company does.

I'm aware Quanta built the PlayBook, and Wistron built the Q5. I expect they will be moving the rest of their business to ODM at the expense of a lot of HW folks in the US, Canada and Germany.

Given sales took a massive dip last quarter, ultimately cuts are inevitable.

The premium smartphone market in developed nations is saturated. And former growth areas such as India and China now have $100 Android phones so won't buy expensive BB7 devices.

Apple and BlackBerry are heading in the same direction, it's just that Apple has higher to fall.

In the end BB will settle at a niche level of say 4 to 6 million sales of high end smartphones a year manufactured in China or anywhere else with low labour costs. And they'll hopefully sell services and license the OS.

All they have to do is survive a few years by managing costs and cash, and their encryption patents will make them a fortune. For more information just google RSA and ECC.

If this is legit they knew this before today and see just trying to rain on the parade. Let em have one day of positive stuff damn.

Posted via CB10

couldn't they have waited 2 weeks.. that's all i ask.. 2 weeks.. let us talk about z30 and be happy just for 2 weeks..

I see you prefer slow death. What is the difference?

Addict for 10 years, but it may be time to get off this drug.

So, are we really supposed to believe that the WSJ only found out about this on the day of two huge announcements for BlackBerry?

They are obviously letting go of the employees in their unpopular markets.
There are countries, which BB used to rule but not anymore. I guess they are going to become more like Apple; let the device sell itself.

That's exactly how the WSJ wants you to feel.

Whatever the reason for that article, it wasn't designed to help BlackBerry.

And quite likely isn't true. At least not in the way it's described.

Eventually staff cuts at BlackBerry (and Apple and Nokia for that matter) are inevitable. They can't compete with low cost Asian manufacturers.

It's hard, but staff cuts are good for shareholders since they mean the company could move back to profitability.

I know a couple of people who are in the private equity business. And they know first-hand(the hard way) how to top brass will behave when they feel the ship is listing--they all want to make sure they get their payday, employees be darned. What BB is doing here reminds me of that. When you can no longer innovate, you push people through the meat grinder.

It's becoming harder and harder to support a company that is acting this way. Yes, these are rumors, but come on, these phones don't appear to be selling all that well since BB doesn't seem to know how to "gimmick" them up like Apple or Samsung.

You kidding me? It's a BRAND NEW OS nearly 7 months old.. you can't expect sales to be insane on such an infant platform.. look at how Microsoft has been doing.. they have had two years to prosper and they are just FINALLY getting some apps and beginning to prosper.. stop writing off BlackBerry like they failed when they have barely even had time to show themselves yet.. people don't seem to realize how infant their new OS still is and it simply takes time for that to change.. they have a very respectable amount of apps for how short of a time it's been so far.

- Developer of 'Web Design Cheat Sheet' for BB10 (Posted via CB10)

Nope. This is false. BB10 is not a 'new OS'. RIM/BBRY were quite clear... the PBOS was the first QNX based OS and would be considered a trial of BB10 software in the wild.

In fact, many CB posters have been quite steadfast in their assessment of how the PBOS was an experiment to showcase the power of QNX, Cascades etc so that the software could be perfected for a phone / handheld device.

In fact, many of the apps I've purchased for my PB run 'as-is' on my z10. Without significant effort by the developer to have run on both devices.

So... the OS is 4 years old? That might be a more accurate assessment than 7 months. Clearly the BB10 OS is unfinished and not being adopted by consumers, developers and partners as the executive team had hoped. Likely because it is unfinished. Similar to how PBOS was NEVER finished. Or the famed SuperBowl commercial was never finished.

To think that the 4th place player in the smartphone space is somehow going to regain it's 1st place status (Yes, 1st place. A harsh ride these last 5 years) with unfinished products?. Well... that could be considered 'wanting your cake and eating it too'.

Posted via CB10

I think you misunderstand what BlackBerry does. They have a core target market that has remained relatively unchanged. It turns out that target market is a subset of the smartphone market, which is a subset of the mobile phone market. BlackBerry's share of the global mobile phone market has remained very consistent even if the makeup of that market has shifted. Don't kid yourself - BlackBerry is selling far more phones today then they were before the iPhone was launched.

Really? Could you point me to any data that suggests that BBRY market share of the global mobile phone market has remained consistent? Which, I'm assuming you think is ok regardless of how their competitors in this industry has largely eclipsed any previous market share held by BBRY as they both grew the entire business segment and converted many BBRY customers to their own platforms.

At any rate... the data... it would certainly help me understand how you'd make that assessment... nevermind understanding BBRY's business.

Posted via CB10

I have to let you do your own research on that but the numbers I have put BlackBerry selling 2.0% of the approximately 1.25 billion handsets in 2008 and about 2.0% of the approximately 1.63 billion handsets sold in 2012. Different sources will give you different numbers for the overall global mobile phone market (you can do a search to get some numbers from a variety of other sources) so your numbers may vary but the end result will be virtually identical.

And for what it's worth, in 2007 before the iPhone popularized smartphones BlackBerry had just under 1.0%.

Chuckle. Nah I have lots of data from other sources. Your opinion without data that challenges everyone else's perception is just that... an opinion.

Numbers don't lie. And that's why BBRY have stated they won't provide theirs any longer. Perhaps they feel that remaining at 2% of market through the last 6 years of competition isn't a 'win'.

Sounds like you might be a good fit for their PR area. Likely looking for people to celebrate how BBRY didn't grow their business and is in 4th place (currently) in the industry space they compete in.

Posted via CB10

Thanks for your opinion Chuckles but I made an assertion and provided data to support it. I assume you understand that industry data must be pieced together and in some cases those pieces must be inferred so is inherently proprietary and prone to some margin of error. So, yes, numbers can lie. Having said that, I believe my data is reasonably robust, particularly in the context of this discussion. Do you honestly believe my numbers are off base? I would be very curious to find out how you could possibly arrive at anything that is materially different. Since you have "lots of data from other sources" I wonder if there are any sources you are in a position to share so we can be on the same page for discussion purposes. All I'm asking for, really, is two numbers to compare with what I presented - total global handset sales for 2008 (the year of iPhone) and 2012 (the most recent year). BlackBerry's unit sales each year are public knowledge.

Chris, I think you are giving too much credit to the WSJ. They along with the G&M certainly got the US sales force story wrong and that was just a few weeks ago. How many sources did they have on that one? It doesn't means that companies like BB aren't rationalizing their operations but this one just doesn't sound right. Further to the point, the US sales force story ran during a week that BB was making a series of forward looking announcements. Funny that, now the same week that BB makes another set of positive moves, another article with no listed sources just sort of appears out of nowhere.

Could BB be dividing into two separate companies, as previously suggested by many? Could BB be dumping its hardware division and partnering up with other smartphone makers? All of these moves could be easily misconstrued by an unwitting reporter as a cut in the work force? Certainly something is going on behind the scenes but much of it is speculation.

Chris, I think one has to be very careful when reading the tea leaves. There is nothing in BB statement about layoffs or that dreaded word "rationalization". "Right people in the right positions" sounds to me that BB continues to look at enhancing efficiency in their operations. Big moves like the one described in this article are usually telegraphic well ahead of time in less ambiguous language. Perhaps, there is a bigger move afoot that has yet to reveal itself.

Totally agree. Articles like the one WSJ put out and allowed to gain traction on sites like CrackBerry do nothing to help BlackBerry.

Chris, do your research and stop stirring the pot.

Please tell me that Frank Boulben is getting "axed".... please.... and let's get someone in there to launch the Z30 - the "right way"...

Z30.... "The Ultimate Business Machine"

Frank Boulben Must Go....

Thanks, birdman.... and I could not be more serious.... this guy conned - whoever the hell interviewed him and us - that he know what he was doing in creating a better sales effort in the U. S. carriers.... I am here to tell you - there was a "better launch" at ATT for my Bold 9800 than anything I have seen under this clown...

Uh ? LOL you want God to help BB ? Really ? LMAO

Now that is the funniest thing Ive heard in a long time !!!

After reading all your comments I'd have to say it's some very pathetic things to say. Do yourself a favor and get a life. Stop getting your kicks off of others. People like you are known to have insecurity and no life at all. Go get a life your pathetic really.

Also, I don't trust Will Connors any further than I could "spit him"... He is a BlackBerry basher of the highest order...

Who's job is it at BlackBerry to make a public comment on this? Whose department? Probably Frank Boulben.

Frank Boulben Must Go...

I'm thinking this is trying to force the government's hand in selling the company to a foreign company. No stupid strategic reviews unless you want 80% layoffs.

It seems like every time BlackBerry takes a step forward, someone from wall street takes BlackBerry 10 steps backwards.

Posted via Z10 STL100-3 using CB10. Fido, Toronto.

The WSJ is simply using information BlackBerry provides. The general tone here is that people are out to get BlackBerry. The company has been mismanaged for years. Let's not kill the messengers for the mess BlackBerry has created.

Addict for 10 years, but it may be time to get off this drug.

Sorry, but last "credible" news reported by Cantech then WSJ was pure ... speculation (weighting my words here). I believe many @ CB, either team or contributors have friends, family or even themselves working for BlackBerry. They would be my single trustable source. Until then, I'm waiting for measurable news, time scales and clearly exposed measures and won't give this more weight than the former. Near zero.

[self censored here]

I met Will Connors last year and I can tell you he is a huge Apple fan and not a fan of BlackBerry at all. Let's wait and see what comes down the wire.

Posted via CB10

Holy crap, can this guy spin any kind of bad news into good news or what? I mean I know there are some news we should take with a grain of salt, but wow. BlackBerry is reportedly taking of another 40% of their staff after the reductions in the past 2years and which cost thousands of jobs and he still manages to portray a good picture for BlackBerry.

I believe we will be seeing a very different BlackBerry very soon, or worse just a BBM provider.

Posted via Z10

Layoff working bee level employees, so BlackBerry management can take their big compensation after buyout.

Posted via CB10 with my White Cute Q10.

Again I site Ford laying off thousands of employees back in the early 2000's. They've since recovered and are doing great.

Think about how bad Ford's reputation was in the 90's and early 2000's.. "Found On Road Dead", "F****d On Race Day" FORD Backwards: Driver Returns On Foot.

Apply the same mentality to BBRY... they have along road ahead, but they can still do it.

******Please Note******: My personal opinions on Ford Motors do not reflect those of the masses of CrackBerry nor do I seek to offend any loyal customers of Ford. I've even had a number in my household. Just an example.

This is disgusting and it is immoral to support BlackBerry when they are cutting people's jobs in such a way, while paying certain individuals millions for failure. It also sounds like they will no longer support BBOS or BIS, and if so the company deserves to die off. QNX is not inherently better than any other *nix-type OS.

You obviously don't know how to run a business. I'm not defending the payouts but you have to be able to breath employees in and out to survive in any business. Layoff notices don't tell anyone anything, there are just that many different reasons why they might be doing it, good and bad. And if you take this to its logical conclusion, you need to boycott pretty much everything

Posted via CB10

After a few days of using my Z10 back in March I said, you know they really got a shot now. Then after seeing no marketing it was obvious. Kind of like buying the winning lottery ticket then going swimming in a rolling river with it in your pocket. WTF

Posted via CB10

sad this comes out on Z30 day, and only a few days from BBM4ALL day(s).

BBRY just can't catch a break! so sad.

Also if BlackBerry is about to be absorbed into another company this is staff the new company won't have to lay off due to redundancies.

Z10 STL100-3 | 10.1.0.4633 | Bell

WallStreet will never let BlackBerry celebrates with good news; they have to kill it because too many short this stock. I hope those who short this stock homeless someday.

Too easy to play armchair CEO. The financial results for Q2 must be very bad. This should be expected. Not enough sales. High costs of launching 4 new phones. Running 3 or 4 operating systems. Not possible. Very unfortunate. But keep moving. Get lean and price compete. Its still a great product .

Posted via CB10

Let the shorts step on the good news, bottom line is they are going to run out of BS to hold BlackBerry down.

Posted via CB10

I'm really feeling bad for the families that this will effect

I'm really bothered by the other two ceos that took their eyes off the ball when they had their eyes on a puck. Maybe they should put trust fund together for these families . I hope that this news is fale

Posted via CB10

All WSJ-people: I hope you like the Huwawei mobiles the coming months and hopefully the rest of your lives! How is it possible to place such an article at this moment? Like your own company's instead bringing out this shit!

Posted via CB10

That is also a Trojan horse. Imagine trying to buy the company knowing that you need to pay the guy you're negotiating with 55m to finish the deal. I wouldn't be too impressed

Posted via CB10

The buyout (of Thorsten) might be a bargain instead of continuing to pay his salary by keeping him on board. Any potential buyers always have that choice, instead of giving him the axe.

Hate to see fellas lose their jobs - but BB has failed miserably at bringing an effective product (although they may have now with BB10) to market when BYOD is thriving at least in the U.S. I use the Q10 and it's an awesome phone. Love it. Do I even need to say it? Apps. There. I did. Make em' native if necessary - just get em here. I need three apps right now that are very business necessary: Bank of America, (not available), an HP-12C calulator app, and Salesforce.com (the CRM our company chose to use).

And Thorsten makes $10 million this year. Tell me, what has he brought to the company? Embarrassment, unfortunately.

Way to rain on the party WSJ. On the day of a new device launch. I applaud you on your impecable timing.

Sarcasm aside, it could be true but 40% sounds exaggerated and it's probably only half the story. Last I checked BlackBerry was still hiring. So perhaps up to 40% of the staff are being transitioned to repostion the company for the future. This is the likely scenario.

You don't get out of a recession by laying people off.... Successful companies do not do this, BlackBerry needs to ride the storm and be very Patient!

Posted via CB10

I'm not that worried. If Blackberry lay's off staff just as quickly as they release products, updates, or anything else for that matter, then these 40% will have years of work ahead of them. :)

LOL I love the KEEP MOVING theme !! :) Only now every time I hear it I picture a Guy at the Head Office telling the Employees to KEEP MOVING !! as they are escorted OUT THE DOOR !

they should have had the boy band ONE DIRECTION as the celebrity spokesmen. ONE DIRECTION alright! OUT THE DOOR!

It's true. Know someone who got the notice. They time this all for a sell off of the company.

It's here folks.

Zezel.com - Mobile: Monitor. Manage.

Same as others, timing of this story smells so bad. Shorter making use of the "media". An example of how former mainstream media are caught in the race for his and are susceptible to story plants or timing. Out of the many BlackBerry stories today, this is the one being emphasized by most media outlets. Even BNN television in Canada is running this as a top story. Hardly any mention of BBM going cross platform!!!

Posted via CB10

Ah NO, you could say that 365 / Yr every 10 mins at APPLE and you STILL would never make a dent to bring down the Company. That " Bring Down the Company mentality " was started a long while back by BB's Board , CEO and All the others involved . Has 0% to due with what the Media or Blog Sites say.
If you want to Vent and blame someone , blame BB's owners. No one else.

I'm a shareholder. So... an owner. This round of layoffs isn't my fault.

It's the current BOD. The current executive team. The program/product managers who didn't have the courage to 'state' we need to change now in 2008 and let the rot set in.

Posted via CB10

I really wish the tables with BBRY and Apple were switched. I want this company to live on.

Posted via CB10

Long over due. I said this many times. Finally TH got the guts. This is the point where productivity goes up, QUALITY goes up, sales go up, every thing up, and BB IS turning around.

Great decision TH. TH your are great !

LMAO, Apple doesn't lose any sleep over BB. I'd be more then surprised if anyone even brings it up at there board meetings. They have BIGGER Fish to worry about.

You guys don't get that Wall Street generally loves layoffs because layoffs generally make a company less costly to operate going forward. This usually means that a company can be more profitable.

So, far from trashing BlackBerry, this is a signal from BlackBerry to Wall Street that BlackBerry management is focused on profitability, regardless of whether it's market share ever recovers.

Posted via CB10

When you were big and becoming smaller, you have to resize the company. Normal process even it is sad for the people working there

Posted via CB10

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