RIM starts laying off employees in an effort to turn itself around

We all knew it was coming, it was only a matter of when. In an effort to right the sinking ship that is Research In Motion, the company has begun handing out pink slips to the 2,000 employees affected by the current round of layoffs. RIM is shrinking its workforce from 16,500 to 14,500, down from 20,000 at the peak of RIM’s smartphone dominance. Layoffs are part of a larger initiative to save $1 billion in operating costs before the end of fiscal 2013.

In an emailed statement, RIM spokesperson Tenille Kennedy confirmed the news.

“RIM has committed to achieving significant efficiencies and operating cost reductions over the course of this fiscal year. Headcount reductions are part of this initiative.” – Tenille Kennedy, RIM Spokesperson

The Record is reporting that the layoffs impact a number of business units, most notably sales and manufacturing. Analysts are expecting RIM to make similar layoffs throughout the course of the year, potentially dropping its labor force down to about 10,000 employees. Layoffs are one facet of the business plan being developed by RIM, JPMorgan, and RBC Capital in light of RIM’s current financial situation.

RIM is expected to post losses in the next few quarters as demand for the company’s BlackBerry smartphones has been dwindling. The company hopes its BlackBerry 10 platform, set to launch in the fall, will stop the bleeding.

[via The Record, Business Week]

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