Blackberry maker Research in Motion to cut 2,000 jobs

Blackberry maker Research in Motion is to cut 2,000 jobs from its workforce worldwide and is replacing its chief operating officer as it fights off competition from rivals Google and Apple.

The job cuts are equivalent to 11 per cent of the Canadian firm’s workforce and part of a wider cost cutting programme designed to address falling sales of Blackberry phones.

RIM’s profits have fallen and its share price has lost 50 per cent of its value since the start of the year as its smartphones have lost out to high-tech rivals such as the iPhone and it has struggled to produce an operating system to rival Google’s Android.

"The workforce reduction is believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company and it follows an extended period of rapid growth within the company whereby the workforce had nearly quadrupled in the last five years alone," it said in a statement.

It added that the changes would allow it to "focus on areas that offer the highest growth opportunities".

Chief operating officer Don Morrison is to retire, the company also announced, to be replaced by Thorsten Heins, currently its COO of products.

RIM’s profit fell to $695m (£427m) in the three months to the end of May, down from $769m in the same period in 2010.