BlackBerry Begins Layoffs In Smartphone Division To Focus On More Profitable Sectors

BlackBerry, or the company formerly known as Research In Motion (RIM) if you prefer, has a seemingly endless playbook filled with strategies to keep the company afloat. A name change is just one of many things the company has tried, in addition to hiring new leaders, launching new products, and when things get really bad, laying off workers. Apparently things are really bad.

The struggling smartphone company confirmed on Friday plans to reduce its workforce by an untold number of employees. BlackBerry currently employs around 7,000 workers around the world, though that number will shrink as it looks to "consolidate device software, hardware, and applications" businesses.

BlackBerry Passport

Here's a look at the full statement:

As we continue executing our plan for BlackBerry’s turnaround, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce. As the Company moves into its next stage of the turnaround, our intention is to reallocate resources in ways that will best enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities while driving toward sustainable profitability across all facets of our business.

As a result, we have made the decision to consolidate our device software, hardware and applications business, impacting a number of employees around the world. We know that our employees have worked hard on behalf of our company and we are grateful for their commitment and contributions.

One of our priorities is making our device business profitable. At the same time, we must grow software and licensing revenues. You will see in the coming months a significant ramping up in our customer-facing activities in sales and marketing. We will also continue to make strategic partnerships and hires to focus on driving sales and delivering new offerings across high growth areas of our business. We continue to grow customer-facing teams around the world, and we continue to invest in bringing in new talent to support areas of strategic focus around software, enterprise, security and Internet of Things, for example. These investments will put us on the path to growth.
The above statement comes just two months after BlackBerry posted a surprise quarterly profit of $28 million. It was a much needed change of pace after posting losses of $148 million and $207 million during the two quarters that preceded it.

Even though BlackBerry was profitable lost quarter, it came on sagging sales (down more than 32 percent year-over-year and the lowest they've been since halfway through 2006) and lost customers.