UPDATE: BlackBerry has reached out to say that the number of employees affected by these layoffs is "approximately 200."
Much of the BlackBerry news lately has been fairly positive, with the Android-powered Priv getting a warm reception from users. But today some sad news regarding the company has surfaced.
BlackBerry has laid off employees from both its Waterloo headquarters and its Sunrise, Fla., office. BlackBerry says that “a small number of employees” have been laid off, but sources tell MobileSyrup that around 1,000 employees have been let go in Waterloo while another 75 have been laid off in Florida. It’s said that the BlackBerry 10 and Devices groups suffered the biggest losses, with the Devices team losing around 150 people.
BlackBerry’s official statement on the layoffs is as follows:
“As BlackBerry continues to execute its turnaround plan, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce. This means finding new ways to enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities, while driving toward sustainable profitability across all parts of our business. As a result, a small number of employees have been impacted in Waterloo and Sunrise, FL. It also means that BlackBerry is actively recruiting in those areas of our business that will drive growth. For those employees that have recently left the company, we know that they have worked hard on behalf of our company and we are grateful for their commitment and contributions.”
On top of those layoffs, it appears that BBM creator Gary Klassen has left BlackBerry as well. Klassen’s wife Jenn put a post on Facebook today that says that her husband has “walked out of BlackBerry for the last time.” Klassen has been at BlackBerry since 2000 and created BlackBerry Messenger in 2005.
BlackBerry was once one of the biggest players in mobile, and while it’s still a major name, its market share is smaller today than it was years ago. To that end, it makes sense that BlackBerry would have to lay some employees off. The number of layoffs being reported today is pretty significant, though, and it’s disappointing to hear that that many folks may be out of a job.