BlackBerry on Friday confirmed it recently let "a small number" of its employees go at its Waterloo headquarter and in Sunrise, Florida. An initial report from Mobile Syrup, however, paints a much different picture.
The publication claims multiple sources familiar with the company and its Waterloo headquarters put the number closer to 35 percent of its total workforce in the area. With an estimated 2,700 people employed at the Waterloo location, the layoffs are estimated to be as high as 1,000. Sources say the BlackBerry 10 and Devices teams are being hit the hardest with the latter losing around 150 employees.
A separate report from the Sun Sentinel says BlackBerry is laying off 75 employees in Sunrise, Florida, this month.
BlackBerry's official statement is as follows:
“As BlackBerry continues to execute its turnaround plan, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce. This means finding new ways to enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities, while driving toward sustainable profitability across all parts of our business. As a result, a small number of employees have been impacted in Waterloo and Sunrise, FL. It also means that BlackBerry is actively recruiting in those areas of our business that will drive growth. For those employees that have recently left the company, we know that they have worked hard on behalf of our company and we are grateful for their commitment and contributions.”
Just last month, BlackBerry CEO John Chen penned a blog post in which he reiterated that the BlackBerry 10 operating system wasn't dead. A few weeks later, however, BlackBerry's senior director of product management in Asia Pacific, Damian Tay, said the Priv device was essentially the company's transition to Android.