BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion is preparing for a "major global restructuring", according to a report from Canadian national newspaper, the Globe and Mail.
The report cites unnamed sources as saying that RIM will axe at least 2,000 jobs across its worldwide operations. A source speaking to Reuters about the cuts said the layoffs may affect as many as 6,000 workers at the company’s legal, marketing, sales, operations, and human resources divisions.
RIM employed 16,500 people worldwide as of March 2012, meaning that the layoffs will see between 12% and 36% of RIM’s workforce cut.
A RIM spokesperson said the company does not "comment on rumour and speculation," but pointed to new CEO Thorstein Heins’s comments in RIM’s most recent financial results as indicative of the company’s position.
"We plan to streamline…operations to ensure sales, marketing and product management functions are all structured to support the most profitable business opportunities," Heins said on the call at the end of March.
This would be the second round of large scale job cuts in 12 months for RIM. The company cut 11% of its global workforce in July last year, saying at the time that it was "[streamlining] RIM’s operations in order to better position the company for future growth and profitability."
The Globe and Mail quoted an anonymous former RIM executive saying that the company has been "axing people on the sly for months". The layoffs are planned for June 1, one day before RIM’s first quarter ends, the newspaper claims.
RIM’s revenues fell by 19% year-on-year in the most recent quarter, with the company posting a $125 million loss. RIM’s share of the smartphone market is also slipping steadily, down to 7% in Gartner’s most recent quarterly analysis after sitting at 13% in the same quarter last year.