BlackBerry concludes company restructure with internal memo

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An internal memo sent to BlackBerry employees marks the end of the company's long restructuring process, with many upcoming strategy changes outlined.

During the last three years, the company had drastically reduced its workforce as sales dropped and reputation as leaders of the smartphone market slipped away. Competition from Apple and Samsung devices that quickly overtook BlackBerry as people's go-to choice and forced them to rethink their entire business model.

Since the company's workforce peaked at 17,500 back in 2011, BlackBerry has reduced this to around 7,000. Now, however, it seems the company is channelling their resources into areas they believe will produce revenue and aid growth.

As reported by Reuters, the memo written by BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen told staff: "We have completed the restructuring notification process, and the workforce reduction that began three years ago is now behind us."

Chen also assured employees that BlackBerry is quickly recovering its position with a renewed focus on the business market.

Chen joined the company as CEO less than a year ago, but has worked quickly to repair some of the damage by selling assets, increasing efficiency for the manufacturing and supply chain and more.

Rather than attempt to claw back its place in the smartphone market, though it will remain there as a competitor for Apple and Android devices.

Chen reportedly believes BlackBerry will do better focusing on areas such as mobile data security and device management.

This new focus is reflected in the company's recent purchasing of privately-held German voice and data encryption firm Secusmart, which fits in with the more security-conscious reputation they are reportedly aiming for and could attract more business and government interest.

Secusmart has built various anti-eavesdropping solutions used by government organisations, enterprises and telecommunications service providers both in Germany and around the world.

Shortly after the company purchased Secusmart, Chen said: "The acquisition of Secusmart underscores our focus on addressing growing security costs and threats ranging from individual privacy to national security. This acquisition bolsters our security solutions with leading voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping technologies, and furthers BlackBerry's security leadership in end-to-end mobile solutions."

At the end of July, Ford announced they would be swapping BlackBerry devices for iPhones for their 6,000 employees over the next two years.

Claiming the switch would simplify security and IT management, a spokesperson for Ford, Sara Tatchio, said: "We are going to get everyone on iPhones. It meets the overall needs of the employees because it is able to serve both our business needs in a secure way and the needs we have in our personal lives with a single device."

BlackBerry spokesperson, Adam Emery, replied: "Enterprises should think twice about relying on any solution built on the foundation of a consumer technology that lacks the proven security benefits that BlackBerry has always delivered."

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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