With BlackBerry maker Research in Motion poised to announce thousands of job cuts, shares of the Waterloo-based company are down slightly in light trading Monday. Meanwhile, the company was hit with its second high-profile executive resignation in a week.
In trading on the TSX, RIM shares had risen to $11.37 by 2:30 p.m., a rise of seven cents on the day. There’s no trading on the NASDAQ exchange today because of the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. Also Monday, the company confirmed the resignation of chief legal officer Karima Bawa, the second long-serving senior executive to leave the company in the past week. Bawa has been at RIM for 12 years.
“Ms. Bawa has been in discussions with the Company about her retirement for some time, and plans to stay on and support the hiring and transition to a new Chief Legal Officer once a replacement has been named,” RIM spokeswoman Rebecca Freiburger said in an e-mailed statement. Last week, Patrick Spence, the company’s head of global sales, stepped down after a career spanning over a decade with RIM.
The company hasn’t confirmed the cuts, which could come as soon as this week, but analysts and investors have said they expect the company to slash as many as 6,000 people from a global workforce of 16,500.
After RIM’s most recent quarterly earnings statement in late March, CEO Thorsten Heins said the company needed big changes, and suggested the firm needed to improve efficiency. In the quarterly results released in late March, RIM announced a loss of $125 million.
Later this year, the company is expected to launch new smart phones using the long-awaited BB10 operating system.
Once the market leaders in smart phones, the company has seen its market share plunge, particularly in the key U.S. market. Some industry analysts suggest the company could see its share of the global smart phone market drop as low as five per cent this year.
The company has also seen changes at the executive level this year, most recently last week, when Patrick Spence, its global head of sales, resigned.