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RIM Cutting More Jobs As It Prepares For BlackBerry 10 Comeback Drive

BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion is planning to cull over 2,000 staff this Friday on the final day of its first quarter, according to a number of inside sources.

The job losses will hit a wide range of departments and are reported to include HR, finance, sales, marketing, and legal positions.

The troubled Ontario, Canada based smartphone maker is in the midst of a large-scale global restructuring initiative following the instalment of new CEO Thorsten Heins at the beginning of the year.

There has been a mass exodus at management and senior company levels since Mr Heins arrival, with former co-CEOs Jim Balsille and Mike Lazaridis both stepping aside in recent months.

Last week, U.K.-based head of global sales Patrick Spence became the latest big name to take his final bow, making for the door after 14 years of service.

RIM has refused to comment explicitly on what it call "rumours and speculation," but those in the know are clear that the company is taking a ruthless approach as it tries to revive its flagging fortunes.

"They've been axing people on the sly for months. Lots of guys are being packaged out," a former employee at executive level said.

This week's predicted pink slipping looks set to amount to 12 per cent of all global staff - BlackBerry currently employs 16,500 worldwide - and reminds of a similar mass lay-off last summer, when 2,000 staff also departed the firm.

The efficiency drive comes as RIM attempts to regain its financial footing ahead of launching its comeback phone, the BlackBerry 10, towards the end of the year.

The one-time smartphone giant is struggling against competitors like Apple and Android.

Source: The Globe and Mail (Ontario)