BlackBerry Forced to Make More Staff Cuts, Answer to Shareholders at Annual Meeting
July 10, 2013 6:25 AM
The annual shareholder meeting also marked the official name change of the company from Research In Motion (RIM) to BlackBerry
BlackBerry was hoping that its new BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system would pull it out of a drowning state, but it doesn't look like the new OS and devices were a miracle cure for the Canadian company.
At BlackBerry's annual shareholders meeting yesterday, company CEO Thorsten Heins had to explain to investors that BlackBerry is still in its early stages of recovery, and that a key part of bringing BlackBerry back is to continue making cuts across middle management in the sales and support departments.
Some of the more recent cuts were Richard Piasentin, BlackBerry's vice president for sales in the U.S. He was terminated just last month.
These new cuts will be in addition to the 5,000 layoffs that occurred last year.
BlackBerry's plan to thin the herd is part of a restructurng process aimed to increase sales and market share of BlackBerry products. Shareholders were disappointed to hear lower-than-expected earnings for BlackBerry last month, and that BB10 devices weren't gaining any ground on the popular iPhone or Android offerings.
For Q2 2013, BlackBerry
posted a loss
of $84 million USD ($0.13 per share) while analysts at
expected a profit of about $39 million USD ($0.06 per share). BlackBerry also disappointed when it came to revenue with $3.1 billion USD (analysts expected $3.4 billion USD).
To make matters worse, BlackBerry only sold 2.7 million BB10 devices during the quarter, when analysts expected over 3.5 million.
Shareholders haven't been kind since, and they wanted answers during the annual meeting.
"We obviously did not deliver what many analysts and investors expected in the short term," said Heins. "We're driving night and day to deliver improvements."
One shareholder even said that the Z10 launch was a "disaster" in the U.S., but Heins insisted that it was the fault of carriers who only promote sales of top guns like the iPhone and Android-powered Samsung Galaxy phones.
In May, International Data Corporation's (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker said that Microsoft's Windows Phone was in third place after Android and iOS-powered smartphones in the U.S. --
successfully passing BlackBerry
, who previously held the No. 3 spot.
The annual shareholder meeting also marked the official name change of the company from Research In Motion (RIM) to BlackBerry, and the fact that BlackBerry board members John Wetmore and former chairman John Richardson wouldn't seek re-election to the board.
The Wall Street Journal
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