Struggling RIM May Hand Out Thousands of Pink Slips as Part of Major Restructuring Effort

Show of hands, how many of you own a BlackBerry device? Anyone? Hello!? Oh wait, there's a hand in the back, and one more far off to the side. Now raise your hand if you own an Android or iOS device. Holy moley, that looks like everyone else, save for that crazy guy in the back flapping his arms yelling something about the Windows Phone platform. Wait a minute, is that Steve Ballmer? Ah, that explains it.

And therein lies the problem for Research In Motion (and Microsoft, but that's a topic for a different story). BlackBerry is struggling to compete with Android and iOS, and as a result, there's been a spattering of high-level turnover at RIM as the company tries to right its ship. In order to do that, RIM apparently feels it's necessary to throw thousands of employees overboard.

According to, RIM's relatively new CEO Thorstein Heins is overseeing a major global restructuring effort that will result in no less than 2,000 job cuts over the course of the next couple of weeks, and perhaps many more than that. In case you're wondering, RIM currently employs around 16,500 workers all around the world.

"They've been axing people on the sly for months. Lots of guys are being packaged out right now," a former RIM executive told TheGlobeAndMail.

As the story goes, the next round of layoffs will take place on or around June 1. RIM's first quarter ends on June 2, so don't be surprised if an official announcement comes even earlier than that.