By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Research in Motion, the company that produces the BlackBerry smartphone, has announced that it will be cutting its global staff numbers by 2,000 according to a statement released today from its headquarters in Ontario, Canada.

The measure, which it says is part of a “cost optimization program”, is focused on “eliminating redundancies and reallocating resources to focus on areas that offer the highest growth opportunities and alignment with RIM’s strategic objectives” according to the statement.

“The workforce reduction is believed to be a prudent and necessary step for the long term success of the company and it follows an extended period of rapid growth within the company whereby the workforce had nearly quadrupled in the last five years alone.

“Following the completion of the workforce reduction, RIM’s global workforce is expected to be approximately 17,000 people.”

RIM announced that it would be enacting this “headcount reduction” in a statement released on June 16 2011, which outlined its first quarter fiscal results for the 2012 financial year.

In that statement, RIM highlighted that first quarter revenue grew by 16 per cent on the same period in 2011, and that international revenue grew by 67 per cent year over year in quarter one 2012.

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According to today’s announcement, RIM intends to notify effected employees “in North America and certain other countries this week” while “the remainder of the global workforce reductions will occur at a later date subject to local laws and regulations”. The company will also offer impacted employees “severance packages and outplacement support”.

The move by the company will reduce its global workforce by just over 10 per cent.

“Additional information about the financial impact of this workforce reduction and other operating expense reductions will be communicated when the company reports Q2 results on September 15, 2011,” today’s announcement read.

“Any one-time charges associated with the cost optimization program are not included in RIM’s Q2 and full year outlook, but will be identified and disclosed on September 15, 2011.”