RIM starts handing out layoff notices, report says

TORONTO Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:53am EDT

A man tries to hold on to his umbrella as he walks past a Blackberry advertisement billboard in Mumbai August 30, 2010. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

A man tries to hold on to his umbrella as he walks past a Blackberry advertisement billboard in Mumbai August 30, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

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TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has started to hand out layoff notices after it said on Friday it would cut an unspecified number of jobs, a local newspaper said on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Canadian company could not be reached immediately to confirm the report in the Waterloo Region Record, which serves the Ontario city where RIM is headquartered.

The report gave no specific numbers on the layoff notices, but noted that RIM employs about 17,500 workers globally, including 9,000 in the Waterloo region.

Shares of RIM, which once dominated the business segment of the smartphone market, have dropped about 27 percent since it revealed dismal quarterly results and lowered its full-year outlook on Friday.

The stock is down more than 50 percent this year after a series of missteps as it tries to keep pace with Apple Inc and other innovators in the smartphone and tablet computer markets.

(Reporting by Frank McGurty; editing by Janet Guttsman)

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