Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, is to cut a further 2,000 staff from its payroll in a bid to save some $1bn (£635m) in costs.
The new job cuts follow the departures of a number of senior managers this year and the appointment of new CEO Thorsten Heins, who succeeded the company's co-founders, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, in January.
Heins had alluded to a corporate efficiency programme in the end-of-year results conference call in March 2012. Brian Bidulka, RIM's chief financial officer, also referred to a programme called "Core", a "company-wide initiative that we expect to drive significant improvements and efficiencies across all functions in the organisation".
The savings would have an impact from the end of fiscal 2013, which closes in March, suggested Bidulka. In its last fiscal year, the company reported total sales down by 7.4 per cent, while handset sales fell by 13.5 per cent.
The company has been squeezed by the Apple iPhone and by devices using Google's Android OS. At its height, the company employed about 20,000 people. First reports in the Toronto Globe and Mail indicated that the cuts could total as many as 6,000 jobs.
RIM's iPad rival, the PlayBook, has also failed to make significant in-roads in the market for tablet computers, which is dominated by Apple and Android, not least due to the much bigger eco-systems of third-party applications available on those two devices.
On top of that, the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, intended to power the company's next generation of phones, is also running late and will not debut until the end of the year.
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