Motorola may scoop up BlackBerry's ex-employees in Waterloo

BlackBerry is a wounded animal just waiting for predators to pick it apart, and it looks like Google's Motorola Mobility will make a move on its prey in BlackBerry's home turf of Waterloo.

According to the Financial Post, Motorola Mobility is settling in the Kitchener-Waterloo area of Ontario. It's building engineering space here, and word on the street is that it's looking for new talent in this tech-savvy city -- which may include laid-off BlackBerry employees.  

“We’ve got big plans and we’re very optimistic,” said Derek Phillips, engineering director for Motorola Canada. “We’re always looking for places where there’s lots of opportunity for growth and it’s not always easy to find places that have significant tech talent in a variety of areas, but especially mobile.”

Waterloo has certainly become a tech town, and that's largely due to BlackBerry's presence. BlackBerry -- which used to be called "Research in Motion," or RIM -- has its headquarters there, and many other tech companies and startups have popped up since. 

But now that BlackBerry is seeing its end days, other tech companies are looking to scoop up the talented employees which the device maker has been forced to lay off. 

Motorola Mobility, which is calling its new Waterloo space "Motorola Kitchener-Waterloo," is just a 10-minute drive from BlackBerry’s global headquarters and is walking distance to Google’s Waterloo office in the Tannery Building.

While Phillips didn't specifically mention grabbing up BlackBerry's ex-employees in its Waterloo spot, this is likely a big draw for the company. Phillips said its new talent could come from a variety of places, though, such as the University of Waterloo. 

Motorola Mobility isn't the first tech company to move into BlackBerry's neighborhood. Square Inc. also announced that it was interested in Waterloo real estate.
Earlier this week, BlackBerry signed a letter of intent agreeing to a sale of the company valued at $4.7 billion to a consortium led by its largest shareholder -- Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., which owns 10 percent of BlackBerry. This deal, which would be completed November 4 after a due diligence period, would ensure that BlackBerry goes private. Additionally, each shareholder would receive $9 per share in cash.   

BlackBerry was once a big player in mobile, but has hit rock bottom after failing to compete with Apple's iOS and Google's Android. In 2011, BlackBerry had 14 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, and now, it has less than 3 percent.

Last week, it was reported that BlackBerry is expecting a GAAP net operating loss of $950 to $995 million, and will cut 4,500 jobs. As of March, BlackBerry had 12,700 employees. 

Source: Financial Post

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