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RIM prepares for company overhaul as stock continues to drop

By Samantha Emann     May 26, 2012 in Business
The Canadian makers of Blackberry smartphones saw its stock go down to around $11 late this week. This is a dramatic drop from its 2008 price of $150 a share, but according to Research In Motion and Canada's the Globe and Mail, the company has a plan.
RIM is planning layoffs and looking to the upcoming Blackberry 10 OS to help cure it's financial woes.
A report from the Globe and Mail states RIM is planning to lay off 2,000 people worldwide, with the possibility of more in the near future.
According the Globe and Mail report, an anonymous RIM executive said, “They’ve been axing people on the sly for months."
These new lay offs follow RIM's decision to give out 2,000 pink slips last summer.
Many senior executives have been quietly leaving the company but one of the most high profile exits came from global sales executive Patrick Spence, who quit this week after 14 years with RIM.
CEO Thorsten Heins has said that they planned for $1-billion in company savings by the of the 2013 fiscal year.
The Globe and Mail reported Heins saying in late April, “Think of it like a jigsaw puzzle. I kind of figured out a few pieces that I don’t need in my puzzle to be successful.”
CNBC reports that yet another unnamed source close to the company told Reuter's "the impending layoffs could hit as many as 6,000 people and affect RIM's legal, marketing, sales, operations, and human resources divisions."
Apps seem to be the thing that RIM hopes will draw consumers back to the Blackberry. A May 1 RIM press release stated that a tool kit for app developers had been released in anticipation for BB10, scheduled to be released later this year.
Christopher Smith, a Vice President at RIM, was quoted in the release saying that releasing a beta for developers "meets developers on their own terms" and will help them develop apps now for when BB10 comes out.
"Developers can use this first beta of the tools to get started building apps for BlackBerry 10 and as the tools evolve over the coming months, developers will have access to a rich API set that will allow them to build even more integrated apps... BlackBerry 10 will empower developers to create attractive and compelling apps that excite customers.”
Many developers have already already committed to making or adding their apps to the new operating system, according to another RIM press release that came out on May 1. Those developers include Gameloft, Endomondo, Wikitude and PixelMags, among others.
According to the Financial Post, Kris Thompson with the National Bank says RIM's share prices could drop below $10 and that restructuring and Blackberry 10 may not be enough to save the company from sinking.
“Many investors continue to hold RIM stock on the way down hoping the company will achieve some shareholder value through a restructuring plan that could include selling assets, seeking joint ventures, licensing patents or opening its proprietary network to other vendors,”
“We’d continue to stay away from the stock over the summer and assess an investment in RIM later this fall.” Thompson said.
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