Research in Motion (RIM), troubled makers of Blackberry is considering a plan to split its handset division and messaging network into two separate companies, and will sell off the struggling BlackBerry hardware business, according to The Sunday Times.
The British newspaper cited Amazon and Facebook as possible buyers of the hardware business at a knocked-down price. Quoting unnamed sources, The Sunday Times also believes there would be options to sell the BBM messaging and email software to Apple or Google.
The company has been struggling to bring back lost market share and sales for its once popular BlackBerry devices, but it's not having much luck in an industry ruled by Apple and Android. Fourth-quarter reports show a company loss of $125 million and a 25 percent drop in revenue, and the company announced last month that it would post an operating loss for the first quarter as well.
Another option, short of splitting the company in two, would be to sell a large stake to a corporation like Microsoft, according to The Sunday Times.
RIM recently hired J.P. Morgan and RBC Capital to help evaluate its strategic options.
Last week, the company announced another round of lay off as part of a broad cost-saving effort aimed at trimming $1 billion in operating expenses. The shakeup may lead to job cuts of 2,000 to 3,000, assuming RIM tries to eliminate 30 percent of the targeted operating expenses through labor reductions. RIM last year slashes 2000 jobs or 11 percent of its global work force at the time. After that round of layoffs, RIM had about 16,500 employees worldwide.
RIM also has undergone a series of executive shakeups this year. In the most high profile departure, former co-CEO Jim Balsillie stepped down from his position on RIM’s Board of Directors in late March. RIM also this year announced the departure of Alistair Mitchell, Former Vice President of BBM Platform and Integrated Services; Alan Brenner, Senior Vice President in charge of the BlackBerry Platform; David Yach, Chief Software Technology Officer; and Jim Rowan, Chief Operation Officer for Global Operations.
While, if true, this report would send shockwaves through the mobile industry.
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