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Layoffs expected at RIM

Massive layoffs are expected this week at Research In Motion (RIM), and up to 6,000 could lose their jobs.

Anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 could be laid off from the company’s global workforce of 16,500 people, 680News business editor Mike Eppel said.

The announcement is expected June 1, just before RIM releases its first-quarter results.

Amid news of the possible layoffs, the company said Monday its chief legal officer Karima Bawa is planning to retire. But she will stay on to help with the transition once a replacement has been found.

The Waterloo, Ont., smartphone company shed 2,000 jobs in 2011 as RIM lost consumers to Apple’s iPhone and the Google-powered Android smartphones, especially in the United States. Operational problems and public relations gaffes have also hurt the company.

The company’s founders and co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis stepped down and were replaced by Thorsten Heins in January.

Balsille later resigned from the board and two senior executives, chief technology officer for software David Yach and chief of global operations Jim Rowan, were ousted in March.

With files from The Canadian Press