BlackBerry Ltd. has confirmed that it is laying off 200 employees in Waterloo headquarters and in a manufacturing facility in Florida. The layoffs are a part of the company’s new turnaround plan by CEO John Chen.
BlackBerry issued a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice that it would be laying off 75 manufacturing employees at its facility in Sunrise, Fla., and 125 Canadian positions. However, the company did not specify the departments that were affected the most or how many people in each office would be losing their jobs. On Friday, BlackBerry first issued a statement denying that 35 percent of its workforce was being cut, but clarified in its second statement that “approximately 200” employees were being laid off.
“We remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce,” stated BlackBerry.
BlackBerry stated that it would find new ways to capitalize on growth opportunities, while driving “toward sustainable profitability” across all platforms of our business. Meanwhile, BlackBerry had parted ways with Gary Klassen, its director of architecture and innovation and creator of BBM messaging service. Jen Klassen, his wife wrote in a Facebook post that her husband walked out of BlackBerry for the last time. However, Gary’s social media accounts are yet to reflect the change in employment.
According to the notice, the layoffs began on Feb. 4 and would go till Feb. 26. Since 2012, BlackBerry has been laying off thousands of workers, bringing the number of full-time employees to 6,225 in 2015. In 2012, the company had approximately 16,500 full-time employees, according to its 2012 annual filing. Mr. Chen is focusing on expanding the company’s software market by acquiring several companies, including Good technology and WatchDox. BlackBerry reported a loss of $89 million in the third fiscal quarter. The company is set to report its fourth quarter earnings on April 1.
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