BlackBerry eyes growth and acquisitions following end of restructuring process

Passport Phone
BlackBerry's Passport smartphone lands in September

Blackberry has come to the end of a three-year restructuring notification process and is once again eyeing growth, according to an internal memo addressed to its employees.

Obtained by Reuters, the memo, penned by BlackBerry CEO John Chen, confirmed that the company's restructuring efforts are now complete and that the sale of assets and layoffs have come to a halt.

It read: "We have completed the restructuring notification process, and the workforce reduction that began three years ago is now behind us.

"More importantly, barring any unexpected downturns in the market, we will be adding headcount in certain areas such as product development, sales and customer service, beginning in modest numbers."

Big chop

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company has axed around 60% of its workforce over the last three years as it ceded market share to Apple's iPhone and numerous devices powered by Google's Android OS.

The company now has 7,000 employees, according to Chen, down from a peak of more than 17,500 in 2011. The BlackBerry chief added that the company, which is once again in a position to make strategic acquisitions to boost future sales, is well on its way to recovery and is aiming to be cash flow positive by the end of 2014.

BlackBerry recently acquired Germany enterprise mobility management firm Secusmart, which makes a microSD card-sized computer that allows electronics manufacturers to add voice and data encryption to devices.

Chen, who joined the firm around eight months ago, has a reputation for turning around tech companies ailing fortunes and was responsible for lifting software vendor Sybase out of the red in the late 90s.

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.