BlackBerry loses tablet chief; lays off R&D staff

The head of BlackBerry’s tablet unit has stepped down for personal reasons just weeks after the PlayBook was effectively put out to pasture.

David Smith has overseen the PlayBook project through most of its life but last month the company said software updates for the device had reached the end of the line. Instead CEO Thorsten Heinz said the company would refocus on core hardware such as smartphones and the BlackBerry 10 software.

The Canadian handset maker posted a $169m operating loss for 2Q13 and generated $3.1bn in revenues over the three months ending June 1, 2013, a 9.3 per cent increase on the $2.8bn generated in 2Q12. However, cost of sales were also up by four per cent year on year to reach $2.03bn.

In related news the company has laid off 250 workers in manufacturing and R&D roles at a facility in Waterloo, Ontario.

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