Struggling BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Ltd (RIM) said on Monday that it was losing another senior executive as its chief legal officer is retiring from the company after 12 years.
RIM said that Karima Bawa had been in discussions about her retirement for some time and plans to stay on to help with the transition once a replacement has been hired.
The once-iconic BlackBerry company is facing the most difficult period in its history. RIM is working on launching a new software operating system just as North Americans are abandoning their BlackBerry’s for Apple’s iPhone and smartphones that run Google’s Android software.
The latest departure also comes as RIM is reportedly about to announce a restructuring that could result in thousands of job cuts. The Globe and Mail, citing people close to the company that it didn’t identify, reported that RIM will soon announce at least 2,000 layoffs.
A RIM spokesperson declined comment on the report, but said that new RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins said in late March that he would streamline operations and drive efficiency and that the chief financial officer said RIM’s goal was to save US$1 billion this fiscal year.
RIM has about 16,500 employees, down from a peak of almost 20,000.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company fired 2,000 workers in July last year.
The retirement also follows the departure last week of Patrick Spence, RIM’s head of global sales. A number of executives left earlier this year, including founder Mike Lazaridis and co-chief executive Jim Balsillie. Lazaridis remains on the board.
Heins became RIM’s chief executive in January after RIM lost tens of billions in market value and saw its market share plummet.
The company’s piece of the global smartphone industry fell by more than half to 6.4 percent last quarter, according to research firm IDC. Android’s share jumped to 59 percent, and Apple’s iOS operating system accounted for 23 percent.
That’s taking a toll on RIM’s sales. Its revenue is projected to drop 26 percent to US$3.64 billion this quarter, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Net income is seen declining 72 percent to US$197.5 million. RIM is scheduled to report the results on June 28.