BlackBerry looks to begin layoffs

Oliver Smith
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CANADIAN smartphone maker BlackBerry could be looking to cut 40 per cent of its staff by the end of the year according to a report yesterday.

Sources quoted by the Wall Street Journal said the phone company is looking to begin laying off waves of staff across the board to drastically reduce its 12,700 employee headcount.

“We will not comment on rumours and speculation,” BlackBerry spokesman Adam Emery said. “We are in the second phase of our transformation plan. Organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities.”

BlackBerry, once the darling of the mobile industry, last month announced it is considering strategic options for the company that could include an outright sale, as its new devices fail to make an impact on the market.

BlackBerry’s market share has crumbled in recent years, of the US market it had held 17 per cent of the smartphone market in 2011, but now languishes below three per cent.

Yesterday’s news came on the same day the company introduced the Z30, its new flagship phone, and announced its BBM messaging client would become available on the iOS and Android platforms this weekend.

Since its 2007 high of $230 (£142), the BlackBerry’s share price has fallen more than 95 per cent.

BlackBerry’s share price fell 1.5 per cent on the news, closing at $10.4 a share.