BlackBerry cuts 65 jobs in the developer relations group

Ian Hardy

June 24, 2014 11:50 am

BlackBerry recently announced a licensing agreement with Amazon’s Appstore that would bring over 240,000 Android apps to BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry stated the partnership will officially launch when BlackBerry 10.3 is released this fall.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen stated that “We’ve listened to our customers and have taken this important step to deliver on their needs, while executing on our strategy.” BlackBerry also declared last Thursday that they would be launching an “enterprise application partner program” for corporate developers, ISVs and systems integrators, but did not give an indication of when this would would be available.

However, some unfortunate news out of Waterloo today. According to the CBC, BlackBerry has cut another 65 employees from the company, all from the developer relations group. In a statement, BlackBerry said they will be focusing “on new programs that will drive enterprise application development.”

BlackBerry has been slashing jobs over the past couple years. The total amount of job losses has risen to 4,500 employees, which represents about 40% of its workforce.

Marty Mallick, BlackBerry’s VP of Global Alliances and Ecosystems, also departed the company last week.

Source: CBC

  • Columbo

    Unfortunately from a business point of view it makes sense. From a personal point of view it really sucks for the people who lost their jobs and I hope to not see too many comments here mocking the situation…

    • Ulysses Grant

      I felt sorry for these people who lost their jobs at the Blackberry. I still blame the two CEOs who ruined the company because they thought they would still on the top despite the fact that Apple and Google were catching up. They were too busy trying to build a 2nd hockey team in Toronto instead of looking after the company.

    • applesue

      ps – marty mallick didn’t leave BB – he got canned.
      he was also part of the “music band” when they launched bb10 – lmao. grown men playing air guitar and wooing developers. lmao

    • Martin Delaney

      He was useless an got axed by Big John

    • Anthony Roberts

      I am not surprised that you here LOL

  • JB

    Its important to note that Ian links to their Marty Mallick leaving BlackBerry story….but infact it isn’t a Marty Mallick story, its a ignorant piece by Douglas S. Who himself was tweeting negatively and speculatively about native developers(before the story) and was called out by Micheal Clewey. He did not provide any substantial evidence of research with core Native developers, just wrote a hit piece on BlackBerry native app development.

    Im not a troll, but in fact a fan of Mobilesyrup, but I expect unbias reporting, and if you have a matter of fact title then you better back it up with some evidence or research.

    • JB

      Are you kidding me…you literally tweeted before you wrote that article that if you’re a native developer you should get out now.

      You’re pointing at cost cutting measures meant at streamlining cost waste in native development and jumping to all native developers are screwed.

      That leap to conclusion is ludicrous man. They’re pairing down Native development for pure consumer apps, and shifting to prosumer apps just for now. That isn’t the death of Cascades or developers…did you watch the BlackBerry Jam webcast today?. You’re just flat out wrong.

      Also the score app you talk about wasn’t a cascades app, it was a Adobe AIR app that was designed to look like cascades, and it was pretty poor. They dropped it for an android port because every platform is dropping Adobe AIR because its performance is poor. Yes they didnt make a new Cascades app, but they never did. Their “native” app is also the sportsnet app which is on BB10, and is better. So the Score app dropping “native” for a port is a manipulation of the truth because it was never Native cascades.

      You’re using semi related truths to leap to a conclusion that is false, and has been stated false by Micheal Clewey of BlackBerry. What more do you need?

    • JB

      Lol…I would enjoy that. I’ll leave it unedited……for entertainment purposes

  • StevieY

    No need for developer relations when most developers want nothing to do with your piddly user base

  • Tommy Crosby

    So, after BlackBerry expanded their Android app support by having Amazon App Store support, they cut in their own app team?
    If they are starting to roll in this direction, they should drop the sponge and do like Nokia and Amazon, built a new OS from a forked Android…
    I’m serious. The two things that set up BB apart from others is the whole experience (UI/UX and hardware) and business security: two things that can be made in Android now.

    Android would bring them more customers and would probably cost less to maintain.

    • Stephen_81

      Why Bring Android? Seriously? if they Fork they still don’t get Google Play Services like Amazon, if they Fork, they can’t spread their R&D money across the headset business when it comes to kernal development and like heck they’d give up QNX for incar/embedded systems for Android, that would be like giving up a motorcycle for a horse.

      BlackBerry 10 already emulates Android so they get forked App stores. They get the BEST in Enterprise device management, BlackBerry Balance can’t be done with Android as of yet, which is why BlackBerry went the container route with Android and MDM vs emulating Balance.

      It is just foolish to think BlackBerry could change their fate any quicker by moving to Android.

    • Tommy Crosby

      Android support was touted at first to help devloppers and as a backup solution to the App gap. But, AFAIK, Android is still not as good as what it is on equivalent hardware running Android in performance and stability.
      So, no one is going to buy a BlackBerry device to run mainly Android apps on it and BB themselves seems to loose hope in their ecosystem which will fend off development so there you get a massive issue.

    • Stephen_81

      I can’t comment to a large number of apps because the majority of my day to day needs are met by the BlackBerry native apps on my BlackBerry Q10, but my BlackBerry Z30 running OS10.3 runs all of the Android apps installed from the Amazon app store as quickly and smoothly as their counter parts on my Galaxy Note 2, I’ve yet to see a slow down since OS10.2.1

      People who want to run lots of apps aren’t buying a BlackBerry device regardless if they are using a Android branch, or if they are using BlackBerry 10, An Android Branch without Google Play services means you don’t get lots of the apps so if you want to buy something FOR apps you buy a Google approved Android. People who want a productivity focused OS are the ones buying BlackBerry, people who want an OS that has been customized and optimized for their hardware keyboards buy BlackBerry, and Enterprise clients who want maximum control over the hardware buy BlackBerry, BlackBerry can’t out Market Samsung or Apple, they wont have the deep pockets of Microsoft, and they are connected to any consumer facing alternate ecosystems to tie into Android so it makes zero business sense to go Android and far more sense to focus on the niche market they always have focused on and stop trying to play in the consumer space as a main player.

    • Tommy Crosby

      Well, I will give you a win.
      But as a Canadian, I’m just too pissed off and sad to see BlackBerry dying and making mistakes after mistakes :(

    • Stephen_81

      As a Canadian I am more upset with fellow Canadians who constantly support companies that don’t support Canadians.

      I fully respect people’s rights to use other smartphones and don’t blame them for doing so but Canadian businesses who would not make BlackBerry apps even when BlackBerry had a more significant market share than they have now have done more to damage BlackBerry than the mishaps of the company.

      BlackBerry was increasing size at a record pace in 2008, and into 2009 the market completely changed in 2009 and BlackBerry wasn’t ready for the new paradigm and the market flew past them. they took the same amount of time as Apple did from development to launch when they launched BlackBerry 10 from their purchase of QNX, so I’m happy with that, they did make a lot, and I mean a lot of blunders launching BlackBerry 10, but I am glad that they are keeping the headquarters in Canada, and they continue to push Canadian businesses and Canadian youth with reinvestment into the local areas.

      I’m hoping BlackBerry doesn’t die, because I truly hate my iPhone more than any other phone I’ve owned, and my Note 2 is just too big for every day all day.

  • Richard Bonnell

    I didn’t know they still had 65 jobs to give up…

  • TWeasel

    It makes sense. For “Consumer” apps – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Angry Flappy Birds etc. you can get those from Google Play or Amazon. None of the big developers want to make those apps for BB10 and people can stop whining about not being able to send a SnapChat to their BFF at 3:00am.

    There is still a need for the “Enterprise” app for businesses who want productivity tools which are secure and specific to their industry. It’s already happening as Chen stated numerous times – their focus is on the enterprise. So custom development – perhaps in partnership with BB, or in-house…or done by a third party developer. But the need will be there.

    Keeping it on the BB10 platform running through the new BES is the only way to ensure the security requirements needed by the various enterprise customers can be met.

    Not sexy to 95% of the readers here but that’s where they’re going to make their money and where their growth and sustainability lies.

  • 5Gs

    The beginning of THE END of BB =(

    • Anthony Roberts

      Heard that story since 2010 and they are still here…bring something new to the article my friend…

  • gommer strike

    hmm yeah you don’t really need a developer relations group when you can download apps from the Google Play store anyways. Sure it’s gonna hurt the developers who code native apps for the platform, but then if you’re gonna do that, why not just stick to Google Play?

  • Martin Delaney

    Michael Clewley has a 2 year diploma from Mohawk college lol no wonder bb is out of business, they hired all community college grads