BlackBerry cuts 250 jobs at HQ as head of PlayBook departs

BlackBerry has cut 250 jobs at its headquarters in Canada as it continues to slash costs, with the man in charge of the unsuccessful PlayBook tablet one of those to depart.

"This is part of the next stage of our turnaround plan to increase efficiencies and scale our company," a BlackBerry spokesperson said.

A further statement from the Waterloo, Ontario-based company confirmed the losses were in the company’s new product testing facility that supported its manufacturing, research and development teams. Workers were given their notice on Tuesday and the departures come just two weeks after CEO Thorstein Heins pleaded for patience over the company's rebuilding process.

The cuts weren’t completely unexpected, with noises emanating from the firm that more departures were being considered after the company’s gloomy quarterly results last month.

The most high profile departure was that of David J. Smith (pictured), executive vice president of mobile computing at BlackBerry, with a source close to him confirming to the Wall Street Journal that he made the decision over the past few weeks.

It brings the curtain down on Smith’s eight-year association with the company that began to unravel when he was appointed to supervise the disappointing PlayBook tablet.

BlackBerry only managed to sell 100,000 PlayBooks in the last quarter and has already confirmed that it doesn’t plan to migrate the new BlackBerry 10 operating system to the device. This, combined with Smith’s departure, could well mean the device is scrapped for good.

The troubled waters heap more pressure on the firm’s next major release, which is widely reported to be the BlackBerry A10. As successor to the widely shunned Z10, the device will have to bear the considerable burden of being the flagship device of a company that is in a precarious position.