Further job cuts at Canadian firm Blackberry look likely as it struggles with weak sales of its new suite of smartphones

BlackBerry reportedly planning 40 per cent staff cut

BlackBerry is reportedly preparing to make cuts of up to 40 per cent to its workforce by the end of the year.

The layoffs will be across the board and likely occur in waves, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the matter.

BlackBerry, which once dominated the corporate smartphone arena, has struggled in recent years to staunch rapid market share losses to rivals like Apple and Samsung and last month said it was considering an outright sale of the company as it reviews its options.

The firm, which has already laid off hundreds of employees this year and previously warned that further job cuts were in the offing, declined to comment on the report or the magnitude of the reported layoffs. It employed 12,700 people as of March.

"We will not comment on rumours and speculation," BlackBerry spokesman Adam Emery said. "We are in the second phase of our transformation plan. Organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities."

The report comes the same day the Canadian company introduced the Z30, a top-of-the-line smartphone intended to help the former industry pioneer wrestle its way back into the intensely competitive smartphone market.

But investors have grown increasingly nervous about Blackberry's future as its market position crumbles due to persistently lacklustre sales of devices that run on the BlackBerry 10 operating system. Earlier this month market research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech found the Windows Phone had overtaken BlackBerry as the third most popular operating system.

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