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August 6, 2014

BlackBerry completes restructuring process

Canadian smartphone maker reduced its workforce by roughly 60% over the last three years.

By CBR Staff Writer

BlackBerry has completed its ongoing restructuring process and is back on a growth as it is finally increasing its workforce again, an internal memo revealed.

As part of the restructuring process, the Canadian smartphone maker reduced its workforce by roughly 60% over the last three years.

Once a dominant player in smartphone business, BlackBerry saw drastic fall in sales over the last four years with competition from Apple’s iPhone and growing popularity of devices powered by Google’s Android.

Reuters cited BlackBerry chief executive John Chen’s memo as saying: "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."

Assuming CEO’s role roughly eight months ago, Chen has been working to stabilise the company by selling non-core assets, collaborating for efficient manufacturing and supply chain, as well as raising cash by selling extensive real estate assets.

Further, Chen considers that BlackBerry is now on its way for growth and would meet its objectives of being cash flow positive by the end of the ongoing fiscal year.

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Upon reporting a net loss of $965m during the second quarter of 2013, BlackBerry was planned to be sold to its biggest shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings, while the move was cancelled upon the company’s board rejected plans to break up company.

As part of efforts to strengthen areas that are likely to drive future revenue growth, BlackBerry recently revealed plans to acquire German-voice and data encryption firm Secusmart.

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