BlackBerry to axe more jobs in turnaround push

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) is cutting more jobs as the company moves to regain profitability under CEO John Chen, though it's unclear how many workers the smartphone and security software company is shedding.

"As BlackBerry moves into the next stage of its turnaround, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce," BlackBerry spokeswoman Kara Yi told Bloomberg. "As a result, some employees have been impacted."

BlackBerry declined to say how many employees were affected or where they were based. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported the cuts earlier yesterday.

"Our intention is to reallocate resources in ways that will best enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities while driving toward sustainable profitability across all facets of our business," the company told CBC News.

In late May BlackBerry said it would cut an unspecified number of jobs in its smartphone hardware business. Chen said on the company's last earnings call in late June that the firm has "reduced our spending in hardware through some level of reorganization" and has moved some resources and employees from hardware to focus on software and the Internet of Things.

BlackBerry had 7,000 employees as of September 2014.

Chen, speaking on the company's earnings conference call last month, said that the company thinks it can achieve its key milestones for the fiscal year, which runs until the end of March 2016. Chen said he expects to maintain positive free cash flow throughout the year and achieve sustainable profitability sometime in the second half of the fiscal year.

Chen said that in hardware the company's "singular focus is on profitability." In addition to BlackBerry's existing partnership with Foxconn, the company also entered into joint development and manufacturing agreements with Wistron and Compal Electronics. BlackBerry said the deals will reduce the time to market of new devices, streamline the supply chain, leverage greater economies of scale and help it cut costs.

For more:
- see this CBC article
- see this Bloomberg article

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