RIM Limiting Summer Vacations, Demanding Six-Day Work Weeks from Employees

Waterloo’s Research In Motion is spurring employees to work like crazy in a desperate bid to launch its next-gen mobile platform, BB10, as early as possible.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, RIM is limiting summer vacations and ordering six-day work weeks for many of its Ottawa staff. Ottawa, the Citizen reports, is the “epicentre of development” for BB10. RIM confirmed these reports.

“We’re incredibly proud of the commitment shown by all RIM employees as we work toward this goal,” a RIM spokeswoman said in a statement.

When we spoke with Peter Devenyi, a senior vice president with RIM, he said that in his seven years of working for the company, “I’ve never seen a greater level of commitment across the organization. No one has ever worked harder at the company than now.” He added that it’s “wonderful to see this continued commitment to achieving what we have to achieve.”

According to RIM, most—but not all—of the 5,000 employees it plans to lay off this year have already been notified. This is the company’s biggest slash by far after axing about 2,000 jobs last summer and a few hundred over the past few months. The company will not guarantee that this is the final round of layoffs.

“RIM’s development teams are relentlessly focused on ensuring the quality and reliability of the platform and I will not compromise the product by delivering it before it is ready,” CEO Thorsten Heins, who will make more than $10 million this year, said last week.

RIM’s market value has been chopped nearly in half since Thorsten took over RIM earlier this year, driven primarily by a 20% shot to the stock during the embattled companies last quarterly earnings report. RIM reported a loss of $518 million during the quarter. The loss compared with a profit of $695 million or $1.33 per share a year ago. Sales for the period fell to $2.8 billion from $4.9 billion.