BlackBerry Closing Halifax Office, Laying Off 300 More Employees

BlackBerry is permanently shutting down its Atlantic-Canada offices.

In January, its Halifax offices will close, eliminating more than 300 jobs. The Waterloo-based smartphone pioneer says it will offer up to 35 employees at-home positions, but that represents a mere 10% of the 350-plus workers BlackBerry employed in the region.

"We know that our employees in the Halifax area have worked hard on behalf of our company and we are grateful for their commitment and contributions," the company said in a statement. "This is difficult news for them and for the Halifax community. However, these changes are necessary in order to refocus our business to drive the company towards profitability and success in a maturing and more competitive mobile industry."

This week BlackBerry is also laying off roughly 300 employees in its hometown of Waterloo.

BlackBerry's Halifax offices opened in 2008.

The company plans to eliminate a total of 4,500 jobs, or 40% of its workforce, over the next three quarters.

Fairfax Financial Holdings is leading a consortium of investors that has offered $4.7 billion to acquire all of BlackBerry, a deal which the Waterloo-based smartphone pioneer eagerly accepted. However, the deal is far from done, and based on BlackBerry's stock price—which is trading below the $9-per-share cash offer Fairfax placed—investors have little faith in the acquisition actually completing.

Rumours have swirled about other potential suitors. According to unidentified sources recently cited by Reuters, tech giants Cisco, Google, and SAP are all in talks with BlackBerry about buying parts or all of BlackBerry. Other potential acquirers that have been mentioned include LG, Intel, and Samsung—even though the latter has explicitly stated it's not interested in the Canadian firm.

BlackBerry last month reported a $1 billion tax loss.

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry solution in 1999. Since then, BlackBerry products and services have continued to change the way millions of people around the world stay connected. With the launch of BlackBerry 10, we have re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented BlackBerry. Not only... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and martial arts. more

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