By ROB GILLIES, Associated Press
TORONTO (AP) — Struggling BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Ltd. said Monday that it is losing another senior executive as its chief legal officer is retiring from the company after 12 years.
RIM said that Karima Bawa had been in discussions about her retirement for some time and plans to stay on to help with the transition once a replacement has been hired.
The once-iconic BlackBerry company is facing its most difficult period in its history. RIM is working on launching a new software operating system just as North Americans are abandoning their BlackBerry's for Apple's iPhone and smart phones that run Google's Android software.
The latest departure also comes as RIM is reportedly about to announce a restructuring that could result in thousands of job cuts. The Globe and Mail, citing people close to the company that it didn't identify, reported RIM will soon announce at least 2,000 layoffs.
A RIM spokeswoman declined comment on the report but noted that new chief executive Thorsten Heins said in late March that he would streamline operations and drive efficiency and that the chief financial officer said RIM's goal is to save $1 billion this fiscal year.
RIM has about 16,500 employees, down from a peak of almost 20,000. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company let go 2,000 workers last July.
The retirement also follows the departure last week of Patrick Spence, RIM's head of global sales. A number of executives left earlier this year, including founder Mike Lazaridis and co-chief executive Jim Balsillie. Lazaridis remains on the board.
Heins became RIM's chief executive in January after RIM lost tens of billions in market value.
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