Struggling BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) on Wednesday confirmed that it has started slashing jobs as part of its move to achieve its target to drive at least $1 billion in savings by the end of fiscal 2013.
“Our target is to drive at least $1 billion in savings by the end of fiscal 2013 and head count reductions are part of this initiative,” the Waterloo-based mobile device maker said in an email.
“RIM has reduced some positions as part of this program and may continue to do so as the company methodically works through a review of the business.”
In an emailed statement, RIM said it has "reduced some positions as part of its program and may continue to do so as the company methodically works through a review of the business."
The company did not specify how many employees would be laid off, but said it would provide more information when it reports quarterly financial results on June 28. Rumors swirled late last month that RIM would be shedding at least 2,000 employees this summer.
According to the The Wall Street Journal, RIM has been laying off at least 10 employees at a time over the past several weeks.
"RIM has committed to achieving significant efficiencies and operating cost reductions over the course of this fiscal year," the company's statement reads. "Our financial target is to drive at least $1 billion in savings by the end of fiscal 2013 and headcount reductions are part of this initiative."
RIM last year slashed 2,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its global work force at the time. After that round of layoffs, RIM had about 16,500 employees worldwide.
According to The Gaurdian, the company hopes the debut of its BlackBerry 10 operating system and a new line of BlackBerry smartphones will help keep its subscribers from defecting to other devices, particularly in the United States.
However, speculation has been growing that RIM's efforts are too little too late, and that the BlackBerry maker could ultimately be sold off. In late May, the company said it had hired J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and RBC Capital Markets to evaluate various strategies, including potential partnerships and licensing.
In addition to its main base in Waterloo, Ont., RIM also has a customer service centre in Halifax that services users in Canada, the U.S. and South America.
Other smaller offices are based in Mississauga, Ont. and Ottawa where they have been combined with staff of QNX Software Systems, the company that designed the operating system behind the PlayBook and the next generation of BlackBerry devices.