RIM-BlackBerry Downfall Continues as 12% of Workforce Braces for Pink Slips

Once-great Canadian smartphone giant Research In Motion is getting ready to go through a major restructuring that will result in 2,000 job cuts, according to a new report.

RIM, which employs more than 16,000 people worldwide, will eliminate approximately 12 percent of its workforce so say "several people close to the company" as cited by Canada’s Globe and Mail.

It’s been a rough couple of years for Research In Motion, which has seen its smartphone market share drop dramatically in the face of competition from Apple’s iPhone and a bevy of Android devices available. The company has been punched in the gut, not only among general consumers, but also in the business market, where it once was considered an unstoppable force. Now, with revenues and a stock price that have plummeted, it appears the company is going to have to give a lot of employees the boot. It would be RIM’s second downsizing in a year. Last summer, another 2,000 workers got the ax.

The next layoffs will begin in less than a week June 1 the Globe and Mail said.

A RIM spokesperson wouldn’t comment for the article, chalking it all up to "rumors and speculation,” but did allude to comments made by Thorsten Heins, the company’s new CEO, who recently said he wanted to streamline operations in order to save $1 billion by the end of RIM’s 2013 fiscal year. In other words, the report is at least on the right track.

As grim as the news is, sometimes big decisions like these are what’s necessary to keep a company viable. RIM does have some major projects on the horizon, including the debut of its BlackBerry 10 operating system later this year which is bound to include some new phones as well as an LTE-compatible version of its PlayBook tablet PC. And despite RIM’s problems, some analysts are cautiously optimistic that the pieces can come into place to help the company recover.

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