August 5, 2014 8:36am
One of the black clouds that hung over BlackBerry has dissipated.
Back in 2012, BlackBerry’s former CEO Thorsten Heins announced a massive “workforce reduction” initiative that would see the company slash 5,000 jobs and reduce its manufacturing sites from five to three. All this was blamed on an “increasingly competitive environment.”
John Chen, BlackBerry’s new CEO, reportedly sent a memo to employees that stated, “We have completed the restructuring notification process, and the workforce reduction that began three years ago is now behind us… More importantly, barring any unexpected downturns in the market, we will be adding headcount in certain areas such as product development, sales and customer service, beginning in modest numbers.” BlackBerry currently has 7,000 employees, down from a high of 17,500 in 2011.
In addition to hiring, Chen said the company is aiming to be cash flow positive by the end of this fiscal year. BlackBerry reported an operating loss of $60 million last quarter, on revenues of $966 million. BlackBerry will also be making addition “strategic acquisitions,” similar to Secusmart.
BlackBerry is preparing for the September release of the Passport, followed by the BlackBerry Classic in November. Chen ended the memo by stating there is “no margin for error to complete BlackBerry’s turnaround to success.”