updated 07:50 am EDT, Mon July 25, 2011
RIM widens job cuts to 2,000
RIM on Monday expanded its job cuts along with a shift in its executives. The company plans to slash about 2,000 jobs worldwide starting this week. Most of the initial notices will focus on North America and a handful of other countries, followed by others later on.
The job cuts were already factored into the company's guidance for the fiscal year, RIM said, although these didn't include one-time charges.
Executives were largely staying in place and widening their roles with the exception of BlackBerry COO Don Morrison, who was retiring even in the midst of a temporary medical leave. Multiple COO positions would exist but would see "expanded roles," with Thorsten Heins becoming COO of Product and Sales while Jim Rowan would be COO for Operations. CIO Robin Bienfait would expand her oversight of most roles by including the enterprise group.
Former regional leader Patric Spence would now be the Managing Director for global sales and regional marketing.
RIM has repeatedly euphemized its cuts and cast them as a company simply getting its staff assignments in check after years of rapid growth. Most, however, have pointed to a rapid decline in BlackBerry shipments as the more likely cause. RIM went from an all-time high of 14.9 million phones in the winter to 13.2 million in the spring. Official expectations now have it shipping no more than 12.5 million even as Apple ships record high iPhone numbers even with a delayed new model.
The BlackBerry has had some strong growth in the UK and the developing world but hasn't moved fast enough to offset sluggish performance in North America, where Apple's iPhone and Google's collective Android platform have passed RIM by.