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BlackBerry planning deep job cuts: report

Video: There are reports BlackBerry is preparing for massive staffing cuts. Jen Tryon has the details.

BlackBerry Ltd. is planning major staff reductions before the year is out, according to a published report citing unnamed sources.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker has an employee base of about 12,700 while the cuts would come from across the company’s entire operations, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal published  Wednesday (paywall).

A spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the report when contacted by Global News, saying BlackBerry does “not comment on rumors and speculation.”

“Organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities in mobile computing,” spokewoman Rebecca Freiburger said in an email.

Read More: Would BlackBerry’s demise spell doom for Waterloo? Unlikely

VIDEO: Technology analyst Carmi Levy talks about what deep job cuts at Blackberry could mean for the Canadian tech giant’s future.

The cuts—if true—would be the deepest and most extensive in the company’s history, eclipsing the 5,000 jobs shed last year as the technology giant saw an acceleration of market share declines against rival mammoths Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

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The Canadian company—which once dominated the global market for Web-connected phones capable of email messaging and browsing—swung to a loss of $646 million in the last fiscal year while revenue slipped 40 per cent to $11 billion.

The launch of a revamped handset lineup using the company’s redesigned BB10 software has slowed rather than arrest or reverse BlackBerry’s sales decline.

Also Wednesday, the firm made a surprise announcement to launch a new Z30 handset model, a larger and more robust device than either the Z10 or Q10 models BlackBerry unveiled earlier this year.

BlackBerry is in the midst of major changes within its own organization and recently formed a special committee to consider strategic alternatives, which could include its sale.

Corporate decisions like that have raised questions about the future of the company, which could make the launch of the new BlackBerry Z30 a hard sell for customers.

“I’m just dumbfounded by a lot of the decisions the (BlackBerry) management team has made,” said National Bank analyst Kris Thompson.

“It’s unfortunate, but I don’t think this phone is going to make a difference.”

– with files from Canadian Press

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