BlackBerry has decided to cut 4,500 jobs, or 40% of its worldwide workforce, in an attempt to staunch huge losses.
The smartphone maker said it anticipated a loss of as much as $995 million when it reports its second-quarter earnings next week.
BlackBerry shares closed down 17% after briefly being halted following the announcement.
In August, the Canadian company said it was evaluating a possible sale.
In a statement on Friday, BlackBerry’s chief executive Thorstein Heins said: “We are implementing the difficult, but necessary operational changes announced today to address our position in a maturing and more competitive industry, and to drive the company toward profitability.”
“Going forward, we plan to refocus our offering on our end-to-end solution of hardware, software and services for enterprises and the productive, professional end user.”
BlackBerry said the losses were primarily attributable to disappointing sales of its new Z10 model smartphone.
Released in January to much fanfare after many delays, the phone has failed to enthuse consumers.
In June, Thorstein Heins said that the company had shipped only 2.7 million Z10 phones out of 6.8 million total. Many BlackBerry users had instead opted to stick with earlier models.
Over the summer, word trickled out the company had hired a series of advisors to help it explore options.
In August, board member Timothy Dattels was appointed to a committee that would consider different business models, including a potential sale.
“We believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives,” said Timothy Dattels at the time.
Analysts have long indicated that BlackBerry’s trove of patents could be attractive to potential buyers, but none of the large technology companies have publicly indicated interest.
This week, BlackBerry released a new version of its handset, the Z30, which was praised by observers but was nonetheless overshadowed by Apple’s launch of its new smartphone products.