BlackBerry's Ottawa product development center closes doors
Alas, we continue this week'sBlackBerry news stream with another somber event. Under John Chen'scommand, the Canadian company has decided to shut down its productdevelopment center in Ottawa. 90 employees that have worked ontop-priority projects, such as the BlackBerry Bold, BB10, and theBlackBerry Z10, will be let go. This is a big, symbolic loss, as inbetter times, BlackBerry's former CEO, Thorsten Heins, referred toits business in the Canadian capitol as "the epicentre ofBlackBerry 10 development.”
Apparently, the cuts happened on thesame day (March 18) in which BlackBerry announced that it has fired120 workers from its product development and wireless innovationsteams in Waterloo. Sadly, this recent spree of job cuts has beencoming for a long time. Last year, the company announced that itintends to reduce its workforce by up to 40% until May 2014 in aneffort to become profitable again. In addition, BlackBerry has putmore than 2.2 million square feet of its Canadian real estate forsale. It also sold its US headquarters in Irving, Texas.
The company expects to turn itsfortunes around by focusing on enterprise software and innovations,while consumer devices will remain in the periphery. Still,BlackBerry has already come up with two new smartphones, and anocta-core 64-bit flagship model is somewhere down the line. Itrecently signed a manufacturing and device design deal with China'sFoxconn, which means the company no longer needs to maintain some ofits former product development structures. However, current CEO JohnChen has talked at length about BlackBerry's plans to build aSecurity Innovations Center in Washington, and expressed a lot ofconfidence in the various technologies that the company is developingfor the future. It's safe to say that BlackBerry won't leave its corebusiness and attitude behind.