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RIM Cuts 2,000 Jobs Except Where It Counts

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What can a company do when its two leaders congratulate each other after a disastrous quarter? What are the options for a company which forces carriers to approve sub-standard devices before an OS overhaul? What does a company have up its sleeve when developers are leaving in droves for competitors that continue to innovate? What's the masterstroke for a company whose own employees point out significant cracks in the facade of an ailing enterprise -- trying desperately to save it -- only to have it fall on deaf ears?

That's right! Layoffs!

As a part of its "cost optimization program" -- which is a fancy way of saying "we're getting rid of the last bit of people still loyal to the brand" -- Research in Motion announced in a press release that it will be axing 2,000 jobs from its estimated 19,000-person workforce. But RIM isn't stopping at just laying off 11% of its staff. We're going to see some serious and long overdue shifts in upper management!

Actually, no.

COO Don Morrison will retire, and COO of Product Engineering Thorsten Heins will serve an expanded role as COO of Product and Sales. Everyone else mentioned in the press release -- including CIO Robin Bienfait, CTO David Yach, and CFO Brian Bidulka -- will also have their duties spread even thinner.

And yes, Co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis will hang on as the malignant and superfluous duo for the time being.

So rather than taking out the folks up top directly responsible for the sinking ship, RIM is getting rid of the crew scrambling to keep the vessel afloat and adding responsibilities to those who shattered the hull in the first place.

If employees were already at a loss for compliments toward the two captains, this should render their speech even more "seaworthy."

(See also: RIM Is Crumbling from Within and More RIM Employees Join the Mutiny)

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POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.