Layoffs hit BlackBerry in Waterloo

Canadian smart phone maker BlackBerry Ltd. has laid off 250 employees at its product testing facility in Waterloo, Ont. as part of its turn-around strategy.

“This is part of the next stage of our turnaround plan to increase efficiencies and scale our company correctly for new opportunities in mobile computing,” said a statement from BlackBerry. “We will be as transparent as possible as those plans evolve.”

The workers that lost their jobs worked at the new product testing facility, a department that supports BlackBerry’s manufacturing and research and development efforts, according to Lisette Kwong, a spokesperson for the company.

“This is part of our transformation, but not part of any previous reorganization program earlier reported,” she said.

Kwong said she could not comment on whether there would be further terminations in the near future.

Earlier this month rumours have been circulating that the company, which is fighting to regain prominence in the smart phone market, was poised to cut staff.

Last year BlackBerry laid off about 5,000 workers as part of a restructuring plan. Earlier this month, Richard Plasentin, United States managing director of BlackBerry, was fired over the lackluster launch of the BlackBerry 10 handset in the U.S.

The company remains in the red, reporting a lost $84 million in the last quarter despite revenues rising to $3 billion.

Although still behind arch rival Apple Inc.’s iPhone and a host of Android-powered smart phones, BlackBerry’s new line of handsets running on the new BlackBerry 10 platform appears to have placed the company back in the spotlight.


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

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