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Report: BlackBerry lays off a third of its Waterloo staff (Updated)

More than 1000 people are now out of work. (Actually, it's closer to 200).
Andrew Tarantola, @terrortola
February 5, 2016
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Citing multiple sources, Mobile Syrup reported Friday that BlackBerry has laid off roughly 35 percent of its workforce in Waterloo, Canada -- where the company is headquartered. That translates into about 1000 people losing their jobs. According to Mobilesyrup, the BB10 and Devices divisions suffered the deepest cuts with 150 members of the latter team getting sacked. A small number of workers from BlackBerry's Sunrise, Florida office were also let go.

BlackBerry has issued a statement confirming the layoffs:

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.

The layoffs aren't a complete surprise, however, given that the company has recently begun transitioning to the Android OS in favor of its BB10 operating system.

Update: Contrary to Mobile Syrup's initial report, BlackBerry has since clarified that only around 200 people in total from both Waterloo and Sunrise will be sacked. Among them, notably, is BBM co-founder Gary Klassen.

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