RIM to Axe 2,000 Jobs as Part of Restructure

As part of work force restructuring, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is set to axe 2,000 staff. In a press release today, the Canadian company cited rapid payroll growth over the last five years as the reason for the layoffs.

RIM’s BlackBerry sales have been been on the slide of late, and analysts have been concerned about the company’s performance already, and this round of layoffs will do little to stave off the vultures…

As part of a ‘cost optimization program’ and announced alongside information of managerial changes at RIM, the job cuts will reduce the company’s global work force by 2,000 people.

“The workforce reduction is believed to be 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.”

Thankfully, though, according to RIM, “all impacted employees will receive severance packages and outplacement support.” Obviously that will be scant consolation to those involved, however.

RIM’s latest release was the BlackBook tablet, which the Canadian outfit will have been hoping would take on Apple’s iPad in a growing market. Unfortunately, the tablet was received poorly by journalists and buyers alike, leaving many to believe the PlayBook may not live for very long on the market.

Many believe that the only way RIM will avoid hitting Nokia-like problems is to revamp its smartphone lineup, as well as its management structure. As part of just that, RIM also announced changes at the top— with a new COO being appointed.

“Thorsten Heins is taking on the expanded role of COO, Product and Sales. All product engineering functions, including both hardware and software teams, are being consolidated under Thorsten’s direction. This consolidation of product engineering functions is expected to both produce greater efficiencies and help to accelerate new product introductions in the future.”

Interesting times at Research In Motion, indeed.