RIM’s Hiring Amid Layoffs Suggests More Troubles for BB10

BlackBerry 10Research in Motion is hiring, even as its cuts a huge swath from its work force. While the company won’t release the total number of layoffs expected, up to 3,000 positions were said to have been eliminated Monday as part of the 5,000 it previously said would be cut. Only those working on BlackBerry 10 are said to be safe.

At the same time, Seeking Alpha reports that the company had advertised openings for 181 positions between July 1 and August 10, many of them in software development near RIM’s Waterloo, Ontario, headquarters.

That could mean that the company is bleeding the tech talent it needs to meet its BlackBerry 10 deadlines, and is desperately trying to shore up the division with an infusion of fresh blood. But getting new people on board and up to speed quickly will be difficult, and it portends more delays for what many see as RIM’s salvation. Added pressure comes from CEO Thorsten Heins, who insists on releasing only a polished product. Currently, Blackberry 10’s release date is set for January 2013 — a full year behind schedule.

Still, Heins remains optimistic. He told CNET that companies involved in healthcare, the smart grid and other areas have expressed interest in BlackBerry 10, showing potential for the new operating system beyond mobile devices. He said the company also wants to better use its BlackBerry network by providing network services to businesses seeking secure connections and security elements such as authentication.

In addition, rumors have been flying of a BlackBerry 10 licensing deal with Samsung, and that IBM is interested is buying RIM’s network operations. Reuters says RIM is trying to unload cloud service NewBay, which it acquired last year for around $100 million, and other minor assets.

Amid the layoffs, the Ontario government and local universities have stepped in to help the laid-off workers find new jobs.

Related Articles