Report: RIM starts shedding jobs as part of restructuring

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Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) has started trimming jobs as part of a broader restructuring and streamlining of its business operations, according to multiple reports.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported that RIM has begun laying off small batches of employees as it cuts costs. The report said some employees at RIM's quality control, operations and parts departments have been among those whose jobs were cut. RIM executives, including CEO Thorsten Heins, have publicly said they are aiming to cut operating expenses by $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year.

"RIM has committed to achieving significant efficiencies and operating cost reductions over the course of this fiscal year," RIM spokeswoman Tenille Kennedy told Bloomberg. "Headcount reductions are part of this initiative."

Some analysts have said RIM may cut as many as 2,000 jobs as part of its restructuring. The cuts would come on top of the 2,000 jobs RIM slashed last year. As part of its restructuring, RIM is making changes to its supply chain, and earlier this week ODM Celestica said it will wind down hardware manufacturing operations for RIM, its largest customer, over the next three to six months.

RIM is banking on the release later this year of its BlackBerry 10 platform to help it bounce back. However, many analysts have been skeptical that RIM can mount a comeback after losing as much market share as it has over the past several years, particularly in North America.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article

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Report: RIM may lay off up to 2,000 employees amid restructuring