BlackBerry in New Round of Layoffs for Device BusinessBlackBerry in New Round of Layoffs for Device Business
BlackBerry confirmed it plans to layoff an undetermined number of workers in its device business that will hit staffers in smartphone software development and apps.
May 25, 2015
Mobile device maker BlackBerry (BBRY) confirmed it plans to layoff an undetermined number of workers in its device business that will hit staffers in smartphone software development and apps.
BlackBerry, which said last month it might close its Sweden offices employing about 100 people, attributed the layoffs to its strategy to boost sales of its mobile management and security solutions to enterprise accounts. It’s unclear if BlackBerry’s Sweden office is included in this round of job cuts.
BlackBerry previously has said one of its priorities for this year is to stabilize its sales while sustaining profit levels and cash generation. Some 11 percent of the company’s staff is dedicated to enterprise sales, a number the vendor wants to get to about 20 percent.
“As the company moves into its next stage of the turnaround, our intention is to reallocate resources in ways that will best enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities while driving toward sustainable profitability across all facets of our business,” BlackBerry said in a statement.
“One of our priorities is making our device business profitable,” BlackBerry said. “At the same time, we must grow software and licensing revenues. You will see in the coming months a significant ramping up in our customer-facing activities in sales and marketing.”
The company, which employs about 7,000 people about half of whom work in Canada, declined to provide any details about the layoffs.
Last August, BlackBerry chief executive John Chen told employees in a memo that the first phase of the vendor’s overhaul, restructure and repositioning–including layoffs and an executive suite makeover—was completed and the company was ready to grow.
But BlackBerry’s recently completed Q4 showed the company’s turnaround remains an elusive target. While the vendor surprised Wall Street with a Q4 profit of $28 million or $0.05 a share, its revenue fell by one-third to $660 million from last year’s $976 million.
Analysts had been expecting BlackBerry to record a $0.05 cents per share loss but on higher revenue of $734 million. For the quarter, about 42 percent of BlackBerry’s revenue came from its hardware sales, 47 percent from services and 10 percent from software.
For BlackBerry’s full fiscal year 2015, its sales fell by 51 percent to $3.33 billion from last year’s $6.81 billion, although the vendor impressively pared its losses for the year to $304 million from the $5.87 billion it suffered in fiscal 2014.
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