Blackberry closes offices in Sweden

Since Blackberry’s acquisition of Malmö-based The Astonishing Tribe in 2010, the Swedish offices have been a creative hub for the Canadian mobile phone makers design and development of user interfaces. Rapidus can today report that both the remaining Swedish offices are to be closed down and all 150 Swedish employees let go.

Hans Björkqvist, regional manager for the Swedish trade union “Unionen” confirms that Blackberry today handed over a request for negotiations concerning the closing of the remaining swedish development offices. 93 employees in Malmö and 60 in Gothenburg are affected by this measure.

− We will take a look at their motivations for closing these facilities and scrutinize the economic reasons for is, Hans Björkqvist says to Rapidus.

The staff was informed Wednesday and according to Hans Björkqvist, the announcement took the staff by surprise.

− We were not warned ahead of time. During the course of the day we have been in touch with many of our members at Blackberry who have questions about the coming process, he says to Rapidus.

Sales have been dropping rapidly for Blackberry, who cut the global workforce by more than 1.800 employees just this last fiscal year. The severe cuts made it possible for the mobile phone giant to eke out a small profit in the latest quarterly report, presented in the middle of march.

However, the Swedish operations have up until now been spared the brunt of the cutbacks. Blackberry bought The Astonising Tribe, TAT, for over 800 million SEK in 2010. TAT specialized in programming and design on platforms with limited processing capabilities, such as mobile phones.

Rapidus has so far not been able to get any comment from Blackberry about the closing of the Swedish development offices.



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