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BlackBerry maker RIM to cut about 2,000 jobs, shuffle executives

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Blackberry playbookResearch in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphones and tablet, said Monday that it will cut its workforce by about 2,000 jobs and move some executives into new roles in an effort to battle the continued growth of Google's Android and Apple's iPhone.

The job cuts, which are beginning on Monday, will leave the Canadian firm with about 17,000 employees, RIM said. The moves follow a 12% drop in quarterly revenue during RIM's fiscal first quarter, which was reported in June.

RIM said the decisions fall in line with its "cost optimization program," which is "focused on eliminating redundancies and reallocating resources to focus on areas that offer the highest growth opportunities."

In particular, the smartphone maker said, the layoffs are "believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long-term success of the company and ... [follow]  an extended period of rapid growth within the company whereby the workforce had nearly quadrupled in the last five years alone." It seems that RIM now believes it grew bigger than it needs to be.

Among the handful of executive shuffles at RIM announced Monday, Don Morrison, one of the company's three chief operating officers, is retiring; his job will be divided between the other two remaining COOs. Thorsten Heins will become COO of product and sales and Jim Rowan will be chief operating officer of operations.

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