Former BlackBerry employee opens up about losing job

A former BlackBerry employee speaks to The Morning Edition about his experience being laid off from the company in 2012.

‘Gerry’ was one of 5000 employees laid off in 2012 from BlackBerry’s workforce

The Wall Street Journal has reported that up to 40 per cent of the company's workforce could be cut by the end of 2013. (Nathan Denette/Associated Press)

In 2005, Gerry moved to Waterloo Region from the Greater Toronto Area to start a new job with BlackBerry, known at the time as Research In Motion.

He moved through several different positions, but was ultimately let go from the company during a round of 5,000 layoffs last year.

Gerry said seeing other co-workers and friends losing their jobs and reading about BlackBerry in the news made him prepare for the possibility of being laid off himself.

“I kind of saw it coming,” said Gerry, who did not want his full name disclosed because he still works in the tech industry in Waterloo Region, in an interview with CBC's Craig Norris on The Morning Edition on Thursday.

“I had roommates working at the company. There were four of us living in the house and sure enough, three of them left either voluntarily or they were laid off.”

Gerry's recollections come on the heels of a report in the Wall Street Journal that cites unnamed sources who say up to 40 per cent of the current workforce could be cut by the end of this year has him worried about BlackBerry’s current employees.

“I saw the impact of that first 5,000 and I said you know what, this is another big one and that actually got me kind of scared a bit.”

When he still worked at BlackBerry, the company did not disclose much information about layoffs or restructuring to employees, he said.

Many learned about what was happening to BlackBerry through the media, he said, adding morale was low among his fellow colleagues and friends.

People just weren't passionate anymore.- Gerry, former BlackBerry employee

“It was actually pretty bad. It was like ‘Oh, why bother working, we’re going to be cut anyway.’ People just weren’t passionate anymore,” Gerry said.

Despite his experience, Gerry still carries a BlackBerry device and says he continues to support the company.


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