Blackberry Maker to Cut 2,000 Jobs, Splits COO Job

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NEW YORK -- BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. is cutting 2,000 jobs as part of a cost savings plan announced last month and is shuffling some senior executives.

The job cuts amount to about 10 percent of the company's work force. The company said Monday it will notify affected employees this week. It expects to give more information on the layoffs when it reports fiscal second-quarter results on Sept. 15.

Its U.S. shares fell 41 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $27.50 in premarket trading.

Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM has been hurt by product delays and competition from Apple Inc.'s iPhone and smartphones that run Google Inc.'s Android operating system.

Although its Blackberrys have dominated the corporate smartphone market, RIM has not been able to translate this success to the broader consumer market, where the iPhone and Android phones reign. The launch of its PlayBook tablet computer, meanwhile, wasn't as successful as the company had hoped.

RIM reported a 10 percent drop in its fiscal first-quarter earnings in June and gave an outlook for the year that was well below what analysts had expected.

Also Monday, RIM said it is naming two executives to take on different parts of the chief operating officer role. COO Don Morrison went on medical leave in June.

Thorsten Heins is being named chief operating officer, product and sales. Jim Rowan will become COO, operations. Morrison is retiring after more than 10 years with the company.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

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