BlechBerry: Beleaguered RIM slashes 5,000 jobs, 30% of workforce; sales crumble

“Research In Motion Ltd delayed the make-or-break launch of its next-generation BlackBerry phones until next year, in a devastating setback to the once-dominant technology company whose sales are crumbling,” Alastair Sharp reports for Reuters. “Shares of the company, which also announced a steeper-than-expected quarterly operating loss and deep job cuts on Thursday, plunged 14 percent after it said it would release its revamped BlackBerry 10 devices early in 2013. It conceded the development had ‘proven to be more time-consuming than anticipated.'”

“The size of the loss, RIM’s first in eight years, and the likelihood that sales will keep sliding into 2013, severely reduce the options for the company if it is to survive,” Sharp reports. “RIM’s announcement that it would slash 5,000 jobs, or 30 percent of its workforce, only reinforced the impression of a company that could be in terminal decline. ‘It’s like watching a puppy die. It’s terrible,’ said analyst Matthew Thornton of Avian Securities in Boston.”

MacDailyNews Take: More like, an ugly, demented, 28-year-old dog that should’ve been put down long ago. Puppies are new; there’s nothing at all new about beleaguered RIM.

Sharp reports, “‘Wow, what a disaster,’ said Edward Snyder, managing director of Charter Equity Research in San Francisco. RIM is now in ‘a handset death spiral,’ he said. ‘From a numbers point of view, it could hardly be worse, and it’s going to deteriorate from here,’ he said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Told ya so – two years ago. DCW.

Sharp reports, “Now the new BlackBerry line will miss both the back-to-school and Christmas shopping periods, while the competition brings out new phones with more bells and whistles. Apple is widely expected to unveil an iPhone 5 later this year… RIM’s board is under mounting pressure to consider unpalatable options such as selling its network business or forming an alliance with Microsoft, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer approached RIM earlier this year looking to strike a partnership similar to the one the software giant has with Nokia Oyj, the sources said.”

MacDailyNews Take: There’s a fun choice: Death, or a fate worse than death?

Sharp reports, “Freshman CEO Thorsten Heins gave no indication on a Thursday conference call that he was losing faith in the current tack of cutting costs while waiting for the BlackBerry 10 launch, which is now more than a year overdue. The new devices are now set to land in a slow period when consumers are tapped out after their holiday spending. ‘It’s akin to launching fireworks underwater,’ said IDC analyst Kevin Restivo.”

MacDailyNews Take: Good one, Kevin! (The analysts are really digging deep for good analogies on DCW.)

Sharp reports, “Shares of RIM, which have dropped about 70 percent over the past year, were down 14 percent at $7.86 in after-hours Nasdaq trading. At that price, the market is valuing the company at $4.12 billion, a far cry from its once-lofty market capitalization of about $84 billion.”

MacDailyNews Take: Currently, Apple Inc. is worth 131 times the value of RIM. Amateur Hour, indeed.

Sharp reports, “RIM said it expected to post another operating loss in the current quarter, as it ships fewer smartphones… RIM sent out 260,000 of its poor-selling PlayBook tablet computers, which it has discounted sharply after initially pricing them at levels comparable with Apple’s iPad… RIM said last month it would no longer produce the cheapest model of the PlayBook.”

MacDailyNews Take: Where’d they send ’em, to the landfill?

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Our condolences to the affected employees.

This is what the bloodbath looks like and it is also a valuable lesson. Sitting on your laurels while being led by people with their heads in the sand (RIMs former half-CEOs are each just recently $12 million richer from RIM, by the way) is a recipe for total disaster.

May you land on your feet and quickly find work at an innovative, thriving, company for a change!

Related articles:
Beleaguered RIM delays BlackBerry 10 OS until 2013 – June 28, 2012
Why beleaguered RIM won’t be bought: Not much value in a dying platform – June 26, 2012
Former half-CEOs Balsillie, Lazaridis pocket $12 million in ‘entitlements’ from beleaguered RIM – June 15, 2012


    1. I totally agree with you. For a while it was entertaining to read and comment about all the missteps of RIM, from the half-CEOs to the “Amateur Hour is Over” advertising fiasco, but it’s an entirely different order of magnitude when jobs are lost, the vision is gone, and all you have left is carrion for the vultures.

      MDN should declare a moratorium on its endless DCW-oriented posts.

  1. After reading the anal……yst comments above it finally hit me as to what an anal…yst job is….

    Analyse the last months events…… write an article like its the news of the near future….. act surprised at what happen… last month. LOL

    Sure wish I could get paid well to do that. I guess one has to have little or no morals to be an anal…yst.

    Now the amateur analyst that do the quarterly Apple forecasts and get it so right…. now there are the real professionals.

    Just a friday morning thought.

  2. Another 5000 axed! How many RIM people left to run the company and work on BB 10?! Which by the time it is ever released, next to the competition, will feel like BB 100… as in ‘old as the hills’!

  3. Guess the stunt Ad in front of Apple store in Australia really paid off. I hope the brilliant minds that conceived that idea as well as approved it, survived the axing. We can all expect more exciting fun stuff from these creative geniuses in the near future.

  4. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins gets the “least popular company CEO position” in the world right now. Most of the crew has been put ashore and the once mighty RIM’s sailin’ only on wind power now matey and those headwinds is dyin’ fast. Breakers ahead!

  5. What’s sad for RIM and Apple, is that if RIM had simply stolen/copied iOS and put it on their hardware, the courts would have delayed and hand-wrung in the face of the obvious, while RIM (and Google, Samsung) profited from stolen IP instead of struggling with its own technology.

  6. It’s a sad thing about our economy that as soon as a company starts to shrink for whatever reason, even if it might still have a profitable section of the market it could retain, the only seeming result is them going out of business. You don’t have to be referring to RIM specifically, but if we accept that their is logically room for multiple companies in the market to make a profit (and hopefully make decent products) it stands to reason that there is something RIM could do differently that would be valid and profitable, albeit at a lower level than their heights. Unfortunately, we live in a society were only ever increasing growth will do.

    I don’t have any sympathy for RIM, or any wish for Apple to not continue growing, but it’s a shame that there’s a very all or nothing approach to things nowadays.

  7. *Another* round of layoffs??

    Jeez, this is starting to be a quarterly event. Pretty soon, the only people that are gonna be left will be the custodians and the security guards.

    It really is all Balsillie & Lazaridis’ fault though: piss poor product planning, poor reaction to iPhone’s release, and looting of the company before appointing Thorsten to come in and clean up their mess.

    RIM is nothing more than a zombie at this point.

    1. B&L never learned the Six Pees of Business: Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

      They had it backwards: Piss Poor Planning Prevents Profitable Performance.

  8. RIM had every opportunity to do an iPhone, but instead the management was out looking to buy a hockey team! Every laid-off RIM employee should be out to castrate the two clowns who allowed the company to get into its current situation.

  9. But seriously MDN please tell us how you really feel! RIM will survive as all of us are one serious security breach away from really understanding the true value of RIM Security. I play with an iPhone 4s but work with a Bold 9900 and frankly both do what they are suppose to just fine. We have a lot to the thankful for because of RIM and we should never forget that.

    1. Uh… no, Pat. RIM will not survive. At this point, anyone capable of working elsewhere is running screaming for the door. When a company reaches the point RIM has, it’s the point of no return, and everyone at that company knows it.


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