RIM cuts 2,000 jobs

The axemen have been patrolling the corridors of RIM after culling more than 2,000 heads from the company payroll today.

The job of wielding the axes has been given to Brian Bidulka, RIM’s CFO and Jim Rowan who were officially given their double headed axes and black masks.

Despite the fact that there is allegedly pressure from within the company to do away with the two headed dragon, which is the outfit’s double CEO structure, that glorious institution has remained in place.

In a somewhat desperate PR offensive, RIM dubbed the sacking nearly 12 percent of its workforce a “Cost Optimisation Program” and the removal of a chunk of its management as a “Management update”. We guess if the outfit goes bankrupt that will just be a “debt enhancement scheme” or a “Job queue creation package”.

Anyway, the “management update” mostly sees the creation of another elite with senior managers getting additional functions.

Thorsten Heins is taking on the expanded role of COO, Product and Sales. All product engineering functions, including both hardware and software teams, are being “consolidated” under Heins.

Patrick Spence is taking on the role of Managing Director, Global Sales and Regional Marketing and will report to Heins.

Robin Bienfait is keeps her job as CIO, including BlackBerry Operations, Customer Service and Corporate IT functions, but will also get the Enterprise Business Unit.

David Yach, in his role as CTO, Software, will focus on current and future software platforms, and has been told to go forth and improve the developer and software ecosystem.

Jim Rowan is taking on the expanded role of COO, Operations and will continue to be responsible for manufacturing, global supply chain and repair services. He will also now oversee the Organisational Development and Facilities Management functions.

According to a RIM press statement, Rowan’s glorious plan, which has so far seen 12 percent of RIM staff cleaning out their desks, is apparently aimed at “eliminating redundancies”. We would say that if this were really the case, it has already failed.

“The workforce reduction is believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company and it follows an extended period of rapid growth within the company whereby the workforce had nearly quadrupled in the last five years alone,” he said. We are glad he sorted that one out.

Nevertheless the rest of the plan is based on reallocating resources to focus on areas that offer the “highest growth opportunities”. We hear mobile is doing rather well, we wonder if RIM would like to move into that area.

Meanwhile as RIM staff are fleeing the building to dust off their CVs, a new bunch of staff are arriving. RIM is buying JayCut, creates a “premier online video editor that they have licensed to a variety of companies and websites.”

Yach said that by working with JayCut to add video editing capabilities to the BlackBerry platform RIM can improve the Blackberry’s multimedia.