Motorola Lays Off Another 1,200 Staff As Struggle Continues


Google’s Motorola Mobility has begun laying off a further 1,200 staff, according to a company email obtained by The Wall Street Journal. The cut accounts for 10% of the company’s workforce, and comes just seven months after Google laid off 4,000 employees in an effort to increase profitability.

Clearly that move wasn’t quite enough, and so Motorola has been forced to make further cuts. In its email to staff, the company said that “while we’re very optimistic about the new products in our pipeline, we still face challenges.”

Motorola added: “Our costs are too high, we’re operating in markets where we’re not competitive and we’re losing money.”

The layoffs will affect workers in the United States, China, and India, according to The Journal, and they are in addition to — not part of — the cuts Motorola made last August, when it began laying off 4,000 staff.

“These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer,” a Motorola spokesman said. “It’s obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition.”

Motorola had 11,113 employees at the end of 2012, not including the Motorola Home business, which makes set-top boxed and was sold to Arris Group for $2.35 billion back in December. At the end of its latest cuts, the headcount will fall below 10,000.

Google acquired Motorola Mobility last summer for a fee of $12.5 billion, but since then, the company has continued to operate at a loss as its smartphones and tablets lose valuable market share.

Google has transferred a number of its executives and product managers over to the company in a bid to produce devices that will allow Motorola to compete with rivals like Apple and Samsung, but we’re yet to see from Motorola that meets that criteria.

Rumors surrounding a flagship “Motorola X” smartphone began circulating late last year, and suggested the company could be planning a high-end device with a modest price tag — similar to the Nexus 4 — that will launch this July.

Google has reportedly referred to Motorola as an “insurance policy” that could protect it from losing control of Android to Samsung, which already holds a commanding share of the Android market. In such an event, it’s thought that Google would pour more of its resources into Motorola and potentially integrate it into the Android software unit.