BlackBerry laying off 300 employees from Waterloo this week

This is never good.

BlackBerry announced a few weeks back that they would be cutting 4,500 employees from the company, which represents about 40% of its current workforce. Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry’s CEO, said that “We are implementing the difficult, but necessary operational changes announced today to address our position in a maturing and more competitive industry, and to drive the company toward profitability.”

The job cuts will be completed ‘by the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2015’ and it seems they will first impact some in Waterloo this week. According to a report in the Financial Post, BlackBerry will shave 300 employees at the Waterloo headquarters, mainly in enterprise and design.

A BlackBerry spokesperson confirmed the news, stating “This week’s reduction includes approximately 300 employees in Waterloo… We recognize our local employees’ hard work on behalf of our company and the difficulty of this news… And we will do everything in our power to treat our employees with compassion, while offering support during this time of transition.”

Perhaps some will be hired by the competition as notable organizations – like Google, Motorola and startup incubators like Communitech – have set up offices to recruit talent in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.