The lengthy restructuring process at BlackBerry has come to an end. In a memo reported by Reuters, BlackBerry CEO John Chen wrote, “We have completed the restructuring notification process, and the workforce reduction that began three years ago is now behind us.”
The once massive mobile company plans to add “headcount in certain areas” soon.
The restructuring phase since 2011 was a long, and hard one for the company. 60% of its workforce was cut as the company cut costs and attempted to find some kind of momentum to compete with other tech companies including Apple, Google and Samsung.
It never could find that momentum.
Back in November, Chen took over the role of CEO. His goal was to turn the company around. Not an easy one in the face of smartphone giants Apple and Samsung.
Chen had a different plan, though. Focus on enterprise customers and mobile device management space. This fresh focus led to a surprise profit in the company’s most recent earnings report. Investors cheered the results and pushed the stock from below $7.50 to nearly $11.50. The volatile stock fell back to around $9, but investors are pushing the stock back higher today – up around 4%.
What does the future hold for BlackBerry? Enterprise will be a primary focus for the company in the U.S. Apple and Samsung are entrenched in the U.S. smartphone market and BlackBerry doesn’t really stand a chance. In other regions though, BlackBerry will continue to pursue its hardware business.
Chen says BlackBerry needs to see sales of about 10 million devices a year if the hardware side is to be profitable. In the first quarter, BlackBerry sold 2.6 million devices, but saw revenue on only 1.6 million of them due to poor inventory management and write-downs from previous quarters.
As for BlackBerry fans stateside, the company announced it will ship its phones with Amazon’s appstore this fall along with BlackBerry 10.3. This move relieves the app gap on the BlackBerry platform and lets BlackBerry focus on its enterprise and productivity businesses more.