Research In Motion (RIM) today announced that it will be cutting 2,000, or 10 percent of its workforce, as part of a major cost optimization plan. Additionally, the company said today that COO Don Morrison, who is currently on sick leave, will retire.
According to a press release, the workforce reduction is believed to be a "prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company." Most of the job cuts will come from North America and "certain other countries." The company said it will notify affected workers this week. The remainder of the global workforce reductions will occur at a later date subject to local laws and regulations.
The size of the workforce reduction is in line with the preliminary estimate that was factored into RIM's full-year financial guidance on June 16. Following the completion of the workforce reduction, RIM's global workforce is expected to be approximately 17,000.
Along with the cuts, RIM also did some reorganization of its existing senior management team. With Morrison gone, the company is breaking down the role of COO. Thorsten Heins will take on the expanded role of COO of product and sales, and Jim Rowan will take on the expanded role of COO of operations and will continue to be responsible for manufacturing, global supply chain and repair services.
Morrison joined RIM in 2000 with a mandate to strengthen the company's international operations. Before joining RIM, Morrison held a number of senior leadership positions in Canada, Europe and the United States with AT&T and Bell Canada.
Brian Bidulka, RIM's CFO, is working together with Jim Rowan in overseeing the streamlining program that is currently underway.