BlackBerry is cutting jobs around the world, mostly in its devices business, as it works to move its focus away from making loss-leading smartphones and towards higher-margin businesses like security, privacy, business software, and smart appliances, reports the Hamilton Spectator.
“We continue to grow customer-facing teams around the world, and we continue to invest in bringing in new talent to support areas of strategic focus around software, enterprise, security and the Internet of Things, for example,” BlackBerry said in a statement, per that report.
Last August, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in an internal memo that the company was ready to grow after three years of layoffs and restructuring.
Just last week, Chen told Business Insider that the company has been hiring “a lot of engineers,” but that most of BlackBerry’s 7,000 employees worldwide were old hands at the company. The company had more than 16,000 employees in 2012.
In that same conversation with Business Insider, Chen said that he thought the phone business could become profitable again, but also said it’s not necessarily key to the company’s ongoing turnaround. Instead, the company’s future lies BlackBerry’s QNX connected car operating system (which Chen claimed is currently powering 50 million connected cars) and in selling to businesses, Chen said at the time.
“Right now, I need to re-secure the company in enterprise space,” Chen said.
BlackBerry has yet to respond to a request for comment on these job cuts, and we don’t have any idea of how many people were impacted. Still, it seems that BlackBerry is serious about reducing the focus on making phones, even as Chen promises he’ll find a way to make them profitable some day.