RIM slashes 2,000 jobs, says COO to retire

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Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) said it will cut around 2,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its global workforce, as part of a restructuring the BlackBerry maker forecast last month. The company also made changes to its management team, and said COO Don Morrison will retire. 

The company said in a statement that the jobs cuts, which RIM first disclosed in its most recent quarterly earnings announcement, are "a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company and it follows an extended period of rapid growth within the company whereby the workforce had nearly quadrupled in the last five years alone." Until now, the company had not disclosed how many jobs it would cut.

After the cuts, RIM's global workforce will be around 17,000 people. The company said the job cuts will affect all functions of the company and that the financial impact of the cuts will be disclosed when RIM reports its next quarterly earnings on Sept. 15.

The cuts come after RIM reported weak quarterly financials and BlackBerry device shipments. RIM has been steadily losing market share, particularly in the United States, to smartphones running Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, though it recently has made gains in Europe and elsewhere.

In addition to the job cuts, RIM said Morrison, who has been on medical leave since June, will retire after more than 10 years with the company. As part of a broader management shakeup, RIM said Thorsten Heins will take on the expanded role of COO for products and sales. The company said all product engineering functions, including both hardware and software teams, are being consolidated under his direction. Additionally, RIM said Jim Rowan will take on the expanded role of COO of operations, and will continue to be responsible for manufacturing, global supply chain and repair services.

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

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