BlackBerry axes 200 jobs in Ontario and Florida

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Smartphone company BlackBerry is to axe 200 jobs at its hometown HQ in Ontario and in Florida to reduce costs, it said Friday. The company is in the middle of moves to turn around its fortunes and focus more on the enterprise software business.

“As BlackBerry continues to execute its turnaround plan, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce”, the company said in a statement.

The Canadian firm did not comment on the percentage of its staff affected by the cuts, but according to recent filings the company had 6,225 employees as of February 28th last year.

The job cuts will affect 75 manufacturing jobs in Sunrise, Florida, according to a state government website.

BlackBerry also said that Gary Klassen, one of its longest-serving employees and inventor of its BBM messaging service, departed in the latest round of cuts.

BlackBerry decline to comment on the divisions affected, but said it stands by its commitment to release future updates to its BB10 software.

In September of last year, the company axed 200 staff who worked on the hardware and design of BB10 devices, which were initially released back in January 2013. Despite good review the phones failed to claw back market share from Apple’s iPhone and the large array of Android devices that dominate.

In other attempts to revive its handset business, BlackBerry release its first Android device in November last year, saying that it also has plans to release at least one more Android device in 2016.

CEO John Chen says he will make a decision whether the handset business is viable in the financial year starting in late February.

SOURCE: Reuters.

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