RIM cuts 2,000 jobs


Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry handhelds, has announced a management reorganisation, and the loss of 2,000 jobs.

The move, described as a "cost optimisation programme," will bring RIM's worldwide headcount down to around 17,000. The company says that today's announcement follows on from the strategy the company outlined in its full-year results last month.

The management changes will see current chief operating officer, Don Morrison, retire. Thorsten Heins, currently COO for products, will expand his role to cover sales. Jim Rowan will become COO, for operations.

BlackBerry's chief information officer, Robin Bienfait, will see her remit expand to include the company's Enterprise Business Unit, which looks after the BlackBerry Enterprise Server product line.

According to a statement, the moves at RIM are "intended to create greater alignment of the organisation and to streamline RIM's operations in order to better position the company for future growth and profitability."

Falling margins, and a loss of market share to companies including Apple and Samsung have put pressure on RIM.

Earlier this month the company was forced by shareholders to set up a committee to review senior management, including a possible split of the co-chair and co-CEO roles held by Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. The committee will report in January.

The company also saw both its turnover and profits squeezed in its last quarter's results and, although shipments of BlackBerry devices increased to 13.2 million units, this fell short of the company's own estimates.

In addition, financial analysts have calculated that the average selling price (ASP) for BlackBerry phones, a number RIM no longer releases, also fell.

RIM has said it will consult with employees in North America and overseas over job losses. However, the company did not respond to requests from IT Pro for details of any job cuts in Europe.