Struggling phone maker to lose 40 per cent of workforce in hope to attract buyers

BlackBerry axes 4,500 jobs, announces £624 million Q2 loss

BlackBerry has announced that it plans to cut 4,500 jobs and expects Q2 losses of $995 million (£624 million).

The move follows the struggle of BlackBerry’s Z10 handset in the smartphone market, and was predicted by analysts as Blackberry attempts to attract possible buyers.

Other actions to be taken by the company, as outlined in a press release, include focusing BlackBerry’s future smartphone portfolio from six down to four, two “high-end devices” and two “entry-level” devices, and “re-tiering” the Z10 “to make it available to a broader audience”.

Blackberry said that the $995 million loss was “primarily attributable to BlackBerry Z10 devices”, and is equivalent to a loss of $1.90 per share. The company’s revenue for Q2 is expected to be $1.6 billion (£1 billion).

The axing of 4,500 employees will drop BlackBerry’s workforce by 40 per cent, down to 7,000. The phone maker’s expenditures are also planned to drop in order to recover some traction in the market, with a 50 per cent reduction targeted by the end of Q1 of 2015.

“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,” said Thorsten Heins, President and Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry.

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