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RIM Announces Management Reorg & 2,000 Layoffs

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RIM told us to expect more details on their Cost Optimization Program and now they have made it clear. They plan on streamlining operations by consolidating and changing the responsibilities of quite a few senior management roles along with reducing the global RIM team by 2,000 from the previous 19,000 employees to 17,000 employees around the world. This is a pretty big move for RIM along with announcing that Don Morrison is leaving RIM after 10 years of service since he has been on medical leave. My condolences to the TeamBlackBerry members who were let go but hopefully this will lead to a lean mean team at RIM that just pumps out quality hardware and software like clockwork.

Full details below:

Research In Motion Provides Management Update and Details On Cost Optimization Program
WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – July 25, 2011) – Research In Motion Limited (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today provided an update on changes in responsibilities amongst the company’s senior management team, as well as additional details about the cost optimization program announced on June 16th. The changes described below are intended to create greater alignment of the organization and to streamline RIM’s operations in order to better position the company for future growth and profitability.

Senior Management Update

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.

After more than ten years of success overseeing sales and country operations for RIM in various regions including North America, Asia Pacific and EMEA most recently, Patrick Spence is taking on the role of Managing Director, Global Sales and Regional Marketing. Patrick will report to Thorsten Heins and will work with Thorsten to tightly couple the execution of product development and regional business operations around the world, enable faster local execution tailored to local market needs and support the needs of RIM’s valued operator and distribution partners.

Robin Bienfait is maintaining her responsibilities as CIO, including BlackBerry Operations, Customer Service and Corporate IT functions, and also taking on responsibility for the Enterprise Business Unit focused on delivering outstanding customer service and extending RIM’s leadership in the enterprise sector.

David Yach, in his role as CTO, Software, will focus on current and future software platforms, as well as the surrounding developer and application ecosystem.

Jim Rowan is taking on the expanded role of COO, Operations and will continue to be responsible for manufacturing, global supply chain and repair services. As part of the streamlining effort and drive towards greater operational efficiencies, he will also now oversee the Organizational Development and Facilities Management functions.

Brian Bidulka, RIM’s CFO, is working together with Jim Rowan in overseeing the Cost Optimization Program which is currently underway.

Cost Optimization Program

In addition to the management changes outlined above, RIM today provided further details on its cost optimization program, which is focused on eliminating redundancies and reallocating resources to focus on areas that offer the highest growth opportunities and alignment with RIM’s strategic objectives. 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.

As part of this broad effort, RIM is reducing its global workforce across all functions by approximately 2,000 employees. RIM intends to notify impacted employees in North America and certain other countries this week. The remainder of the global workforce reductions will occur at a later date subject to local laws and regulations. All impacted employees will receive severance packages and outplacement support.

The size of this workforce reduction is in line with the preliminary estimate that was factored into RIM’s full year financial guidance on June 16, 2011. Following the completion of the workforce reduction, RIM’s global workforce is expected to be approximately 17,000 people. Additional information about the financial impact of this workforce reduction and other operating expense reductions will be communicated when the company reports Q2 results on September 15, 2011. As explained on June 16, 2011, any one-time charges associated with the cost optimization program are not included in RIM’s Q2 and full year outlook, but will be identified and disclosed on September 15, 2011.

Research In Motion Announces Retirement of Don Morrison
WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – July 25, 2011) – Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) (RIM) announced today that Don Morrison, currently on temporary medical leave, is planning to retire from his position as Chief Operating Officer, BlackBerry following more than ten years of service with RIM.

"We thank Don for his outstanding service to RIM. We understand and respect his decision to retire after successfully dealing with a serious medical challenge and we wish him a quick recovery," stated Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, Co-CEOs at RIM. "Don’s presence at RIM will be missed, but our senior management and sales teams had already stepped up to manage Don’s responsibilities since the commencement of his medical leave and we’re confident in the ability of those teams to continue Don’s tradition of success going forward."

Don Morrison has led a distinguished career. He joined RIM in 2000 with a mandate to strengthen RIM’s international operations and help build a world-class service organization. Since that time, RIM has expanded to more than 175 countries around the world and RIM’s fiscal year revenues have grown from approximately $200 million to nearly $20 billion. Before joining RIM, Don held a number of senior leadership positions in Canada, Europe and the United States with AT&T and Bell Canada. His creative and disciplined approach to a customer driven business model also led to significant operational improvements in those companies.

6 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. This is bottom out point I think…… they can now rise from the ashes!

  2. I think you’re right. I don’t think they can sink any lower than this.

  3. It’s going to get a lot worse, before it gets better. Just look at Nokia. They’re in the same position as RIM. Apple laid off 4000 people (about a third of their workforce) in 1997. RIM’s going to be just fine. But they have to push harder than ever before.

    • ?

      I don’t think its going to get “a lot worse”

      They aren’t going to cut anymore jobs in the immediate future.

      The only thing that could flop next for them is a delayed QNX phone launch

      Assuming they get out their new batch of phones in the next 2 months.. thats the next test

  4. Rim is finished, they had the chance with the torch and they blew it with the weak CPU small screen and crappy software. They they fell for trick #1 from apple and got distracted with the playbook, what a mess. Anyway I’m mothballing my torch and going with an Android, sad event for me since I was a BB fan/user since the Mobitex days.

  5. Out with the old and in with the new.

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