Canadian Manufacturing

BlackBerry confirms 4,500 layoffs in preliminary financial results

Device maker also announced anticipated net operating loss in neighbourhood of $950-million

WATERLOO, Ont.—Troubled device maker BlackBerry confirmed it plans to hand pink slips to approximately 4,500 employees worldwide as the company continues its restructuring plans.

First reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, the Waterloo, Ont.-based company confirmed in preliminary financial results released Sept. 20 it would eliminate another 4,500 positions—or 40 per cent of its workforce—as it looks to keep its head above water.

“We are implementing the difficult, but necessary operational changes to address our position in a maturing and more competitive industry, and to drive the company toward profitability,” president and CEO Thorsten Heins said in a statement accompanying the preliminary results.

“Going forward, we plan to refocus our offering on our end-to-end solution of hardware, software and services for enterprises and the productive, professional end user.”

Part of that refocus includes reducing its smartphone offerings from six devices to four with an eye on enterprise and professional customers.

BlackBerry also said it is targeting an approximate 50 per cent reduction in operating expenditures by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

Loss steepens

In another blow to the firm, BlackBerry said it expects a $250- to $265-million operating loss when it reports financial results for the second quarter of the fiscal year of 2014 Sept. 27.

It expects a GAAP net operating loss of approximately $950- to $995 million.

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