Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) shareholders officially voted through the BlackBerry Limited name change at the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday, but that was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to changes being made at the struggling handset maker.
The Wall Street Journal’s Will Connors reports that BlackBerry is now planning to slash jobs, many of which are middle management. U.S. Sales Vice President Richard Piasentin was reportedly fired last month.
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Details On BBRY’s Job Cuts
At this point we don’t know just how many jobs Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) plans to cut, but it’s clear that the company must figure out how to cut costs because of slumping BlackBerry 10 sales. Currently there are about 11,000 workers employed at the company. In the last fiscal year, it let 5,000 workers go.
At this point BlackBerry has confirmed that Piasentin was fired, although it hasn’t made any comments on the reported job cuts.
U.S. BlackBerry Release Was Flawed
The New York Times’ Ian Austen reports that CEO Thorsten Heins admitted that that release of Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s new BlackBerry 10 devices in the U.S. was flawed, which undoubtedly is why the company fired Piasentin. Heins said the U.S. market is “a challenge” and that it’s “an uphill battle” trying to win over American investors.
Some of the issues related to the rollout of the devices stemmed from the products themselves. For example, the BlackBerry Q10 could not immediately sync with Microsoft Outlook and corporate systems which use it. There were also other email syncing problems.
Research In Motion Ltd (BBRY)’s Future Plans
At the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday, pressure was put on Heins to look for new options for the company in light of the worse than expected BlackBerry sales. He didn’t say that a sale is in the works, although he confirmed that they are open to making partnerships. He also pleaded again with investors to have patience with the company as it attempts to turn around.
Shares of Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) were up more than 1 percent at the NASDAQ in pre-market trading on Wednesday. The stock has been dropping off significantly since the company’s weak earnings report. At this point sentiment on the company is so low that many doubt whether it will ever recover.