BlackBerry to shave workforce by up to 40%: WSJ

Flagging smartphone maker may slash staff numbers by end of year

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BlackBerry to shave workforce by up to 40%: WSJ BlackBerry was once an investor’s darling with a market cap of over $80bn. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  September 19, 2013

Flagging Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry is to slash its workforce in the coming quarter by as much as 40%, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing company insiders.

Once an industry mainstay, BlackBerry has seen its market worth dwindle from a peek market capitalisation of over $80bn in 2008 to a current figure of around $5.5bn.

BlackBerry's past successes hinged on making some of the first commercially viable smartphones, which were aimed at business customers. The launch of the Apple iPhone led to a revolution in the smartphone market that redefined handsets as consumer devices.

The launch of the new BlackBerry 10 platform in January, and a split focus on consumers through the company's first touchscreen phone, failed to woo the buying public, leading the Canadian firm to explore a number of options, including that of selling itself.

"We will not comment on rumours and speculation," said a company spokesman. "As previously stated, we are in the second phase of our transformation plan.

"Organisational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities in mobile computing."

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