RIM cuts more jobs to save $1bn as Lazaridis and Balsillie pocket $12m

BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM) cuts more jobs to save $1bn while paying $12m to ex-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie

Research in Motion (RIM) today confirmed it will axe a significant number of jobs across the company to cut $1bn operating costs.

The announcement came just days after the Financial Times revealed the ex-chief executives of the BlackBerry manufacturer, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, will receive a joint package of $12m in exit payments following their departures in January; and one week before it is to announce quarterly results on 28 June 2012.   

Most of the jobs set to go are from RIM’s manufacturing plants. One partner, Celestica, confirmed it would wind down its manufacturing services for RIM over the next three to six months.

A RIM spokesman told Computer Weekly: “RIM has committed to achieving significant efficiencies and operating cost reductions over the course of this fiscal year. Our financial target is to drive at least $1bn in savings by the end of fiscal 2013, based on our Q4 run rate, and headcount reductions are part of this initiative.”

“RIM has reduced some positions as part of this programme and may continue to do so as the company methodically works through a review of the business.”

RIM culled 2,000 jobs in July 2011. The latest round of job cuts at RIM – thought to be in the thousands – was rumoured in May 2012. The actual number of job cuts will be announced during the quarterly results call on 28 June. 

RIM’s last set of quarterly results saw a 19% drop in revenue from the previous quarter – down from $5.2bn to $4.2bn – and a 25% drop year on year. 

At that time RIM said it would exit the consumer business and return to focusing on the enterprise arm of products and services, refocusing away from the competition with Apple and Google that had damaged the company in recent years.

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RIM is not leaving the consumer business, and never said so. When Heins said RIM would concentrate on enterprise, he did not mean that this concentration would lessen RIM's efforts in the consumer sector, but only that a handful of their in-house operations would either be farmed out or run through partnerships with other companies. E.g., their in-house mapping division has been closed down, and they're in a partnership with Tom-Tom. I'm not sure why I'm bothering to write this, as you obviously don't read your readers' responses. You supply a link to an earlier story, confidently announcing RIM said "it would exit the consumer business," when in actual fact a reader wrote a long, civil, thoughtful refutation of that claim, citing RIM's own attempts to clarify the misinterpretation of Thorsten Heins's words.