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RIM to make 2,000 redundant

Alex Scroxton

redundancies.jpgResearch in Motion (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry handset, is to reduce its global workforce "across all functions" by 2,000 as it seeks to optimise its costs to eliminate redundancies and focus on higher-growth opportunities.

The Canada-based firm had already let slip that job losses would be on the agenda, after sales and profits dropped in the first quarter.

Like troubled rival Nokia, albeit to a lesser extent, RIM has suffered under pressure from Apple iPhone sales, and more recently from runaway growth in shipments of smartphones running Google's Android OS, widely tipped to be the market leader in the near future.

In a statement put out today, RIM said it believed job cuts were a "prudent and necessary step" for its long-term success.

The firm plans to notify impacted employees in North America and some other countries later this week.

At the same time, RIM has shaken up its senior management teams, with EMEA boss Patrick Spence among those affected, taking up the post of manaing director of global sales and regional marketing.

Meanwhile, Thorsten Heins takes on the expanded role of COO of product and sales and CIO Robin Bienfait is to take charge of RIM's enterprise business unit.

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