RIM executive lay-offs start today [UPDATE: Balsillie steps down]

The relatively new CEO of BlackBerry's Research in Motion Thorsten Heins has been reported as heading a series of high-level firings this week before fourth-quarter financial results. This report comes from Canada's The Globe and Mail who note their source "close to the company" telling of executives at the senior vice-president and vice-president levels being "told they no longer had jobs on Thursday." This report is not yet confirmed by RIM.

The person speaking with TGM noted that both sales and marketing staff were also targeted, this being the same groups targeted for layoffs later this summer. RIM's BlackBerry-laden fourth-quarter and year-end financial results will be coming soon, this move appearing to be a pre-cursor to a less-than-stellar set of numbers. BlackBerry developer events are reportedly still on for now, but again, no final word from RIM has yet been delivered.

We'll continue letting you know what we know from RIM when we hear it. Meanwhile take a look at the last 10 stories regarding BlackBerry to see the state of things for the former king of web-connected cellular phones. You'll find that BlackBerry device production continues while profits continue to slide while RIM remains confident that they'll stick around for some time to come.

UPDATE: Today during RIM's earnings call, the company noted that Jim Balsillie, longtime co-CEO, would be stepping down from the board. In aaddition to Balsille, Software CTO David Yach and COO of Global Operations Jim Rowan are also done with the company. Balsillie said during the call:

"[With] my retirement from RIM, I'm grateful for this remarkable experience and for the opportunity to have worked with outstanding professionals who helped turn a Canadian idea into a global success." – Balsillie

[via The Globe and Mail]