Blackberry lays off 200 workers to increase company efficiency

Blackberry has laid off about 200 workers from Canada and Florida, but is it to increase workforce efficiency or is the downsizing the result of shrinking profits?
By Jason Spencer | Feb 06, 2016
Job growth in 2015 reached a seven-year peak, with Reuters reporting that the US had reached an unemployment rate of 5.4%. One American company has started off 2016 by doing the opposite and instead decreasing their number of employees.

According to Digital Trends, Blackberry has laid off 200 employees from Canada and Florida. While this is a smaller number than the 1,000 lay offs that were expected, it leaves others wondering whether workplace efficiency is the real reason or if the recent decrease in stock market value is to blame.

The company insists it is the former.

"As BlackBerry continues to execute its turnaround plan, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce," wrote a manager in a recent company statement.

Along with the 200 workers, the company said goodbye to the creator of Blackberry Messenger. Gary Klassen had been with Blackberry for 16 years, though reports are unsure of whether his leave was due to the recent downsizing.

Either way, things are not looking well for Blackberry. Bloomberg reports that their smartphone profits are shrinking, and that the company has dropped nearly 24% this year already.

But that doesn't mean the company is ready to throw in the towel. CEO John Chen said that they would not abandon production of the Blackberry 10 operating system, though when its new OS will be released is still up in the air. The company is also most likely to focus on their Android products, as those tend to have the most success.

Damian Tay, the senior director of APAC product management, revealed more about a followup to Blackberry Priv.

"The Priv device is essentially our transition to Android ecosystem," said Tay. "As we secure Android, over a period of time, we would not have two platforms, and may have only Android as a platform [for smartphones]."

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