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BlackBerry Laying Off Workers in Handset Unit

The company will cut an undisclosed number of workers as it seeks to make its shrinking phone business profitable.

Asa Mathat

BlackBerry confirmed on Saturday that it plans to cut jobs in the unit responsible for its smartphones as it seeks to make that shrinking business profitable.

The company said it has “made the decision to consolidate [the] device software, hardware and applications business, impacting a number of employees around the world.”

BlackBerry did not quantify the number of workers that would be affected.

The company has seen its share of the global phone business plummet in recent years, and has said that it intends for the business to become profitable at some point.

In February, CEO John Chen said to expect four new devices this year, and insisted the company’s turnaround plans were ahead of schedule.

The cuts were reported earlier on Saturday by the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s BlackBerry’s full statement:

As we continue executing our plan for BlackBerry’s turnaround, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce. As the Company moves into its next stage of the turnaround, our intention is to reallocate resources in ways that will best enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities while driving toward sustainable profitability across all facets of our business.

As a result, we have made the decision to consolidate our device software, hardware and applications business, impacting a number of employees around the world. We know that our employees have worked hard on behalf of our company and we are grateful for their commitment and contributions.

One of our priorities is making our device business profitable. At the same time, we must grow software and licensing revenues. You will see in the coming months a significant ramping up in our customer-facing activities in sales and marketing. We will also continue to make strategic partnerships and hires to focus on driving sales and delivering new offerings across high growth areas of our business. We continue to grow customer-facing teams around the world, and we continue to invest in bringing in new talent to support areas of strategic focus around software, enterprise, security and Internet of Things, for example. These investments will put us on the path to growth.

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