RIM: Maybe we can't flog BlackBerrys, but would you like a jet?
Embattled execs may have to share just one plane
Beleaguered mobile firm Research in Motion is really scraping the bottom of the barrel, and is looking to sell one of its two corporate jets to try to save some money.
The BlackBerry-maker has put its nine-passenger Dassault Falcon 50EX up for sale in an attempt to bag $6m to $7m, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. But if the company sells the plane, it won't be completely stranded, as it will still have a Dassault F900EX, which carries 14 people.
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has already said he's trying to save $1bn this fiscal year, which will be partially achieved by cutting 5,000 jobs and a few manufacturing sites. But he also announced that the firm's new operating system, BlackBerry 10, won't be coming out until next year.
BB10 is supposed to be the company's saviour, helping it to regain some decent share of a market filled with Apple fanbois and Android lovers. But it will be a year late if it arrives early next year and RIM's share price has already tumbled over 57 per cent this year.
Heins was forced to deny the company was in "a death spiral" on Canadian radio earlier this month but selling off one of its corporate jets is going to look pretty desperate. On the other hand, it might just be a symbolic gesture to show that management is suffering too at a time when the company is laying off a third of its workforce.
RIM said in a statement that it was "looking at options" with its planes.
"We’re looking at options with both our aircraft costs and finding ways to reduce our travel while still making sure we keep in close contact with our partners around the world," the firm said. “It’s all part of the effort to find ways to reduce costs and drive efficiencies that Thorsten Heins has talked about.” ®