BlackBerry lays off 200 employees in Waterloo, Ont., and Sunrise, Fla.
125 employees cut in Ontario and 75 in Florida
BlackBerry has confirmed it is laying off 200 employees, in Waterloo, Ont., where the company is headquartered, and at a manufacturing facility in Sunrise, Fla.
The company filed a worker adjustment and retraining notification with the state of Florida on Thursday to lay off 75 manufacturing workers between Feb. 4 and Feb. 26. The other 125 jobs, part of the 200 overall, would be cut from Waterloo.
BlackBerry denied reports in the tech blog Mobile Syrup, which suggested the number of layoffs at BlackBerry's Waterloo headquarters could be as high as 1,000 people, or 35 per cent of the company's estimated workforce.
The statement sent out by BlackBerry reads:
"As BlackBerry continues to execute its turnaround plan, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce. This means finding new ways to enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities, while driving toward sustainable profitability across all parts of our business. As a result, approximately 200 employees have been impacted in Canada and Florida. It also means that BlackBerry is actively recruiting in those areas of our business that will drive growth."
The company has also parted ways with Gary Klassen, creator of BlackBerry Messenger.
"We can confirm that Gary Klassen has left BlackBerry. The company is grateful for his many contributions during his tenure and we wish him the best in his future endeavours," said BlackBerry in a statement.
Klassen's wife Jenn posted a photo of herself and her husband on her Facebook account earlier today, with the caption, "My husband has walked out of BlackBerry for the last time!"
She added, "Gary you've been a wonderful example of integrity, faithfulness, and patience working there but I'm glad you're out."
Prime minister recently visited
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited BlackBerry headquarters in Waterloo on Jan. 14.
"It was an honour to show Canadian PM @JustinTrudeau how we innovate at #BlackBerry HQ today!" tweeted CEO John Chen.
Speaking at a news conference at the opening of Google's new building in Kitchener, the prime minister stressed the need for "good, innovative jobs" and praised the region for becoming a hub for companies like Google and BlackBerry.
It was an honour to show Canadian PM <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau">@JustinTrudeau</a> how we innovate at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackBerry?src=hash">#BlackBerry</a> HQ today! <a href="https://t.co/zpk4cprXVu">https://t.co/zpk4cprXVu</a> <a href="https://t.co/uhWRNJnRAF">pic.twitter.com/uhWRNJnRAF</a>—@BlackBerry