BlackBerry Sets Layoffs In Motion

The layoffs BlackBerry announced less than a month ago have begun, with 300 employees at its Waterloo, Ontario, headquarters getting pink slips.

BlackBerry Logo“We are in a period of transition and we must focus on enhancing our financial results to be in a better position to compete in this current mobile environment,” the company said in a statement.

After yet another dismal earnings report in September, the struggling smartphone maker said it will cut 4,500 employees – 40 percent of its staff – in an attempt to reduce operating costs by approximately 50 percent.

The company’s enterprise and design departments are expected to be affected by the most recent layoffs in Waterloo, though cuts reportedly have been taking place globally for weeks.

The Ottawa government is keeping an eye on BlackBerry as it shops its technology assets to companies around the world, with its encryption technology likely the center of a federal review if foreign takeover offers emerge.

The company has agreed to a $9-a-share buyout offer from a consortium led by hedge fund Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, though BlackBerry’s board has until November 4 to find a better offer.

Motorola Mobility and payment startup Square are among the tech companies expanding in Waterloo, where the available talent pool grows deeper with each BlackBerry announcement.

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