Step 1 in Google plan to reinvent Motorola: Lay off 20% of the staff

Google logoMotorola Mobility has big work to do now that it's a part of Google, but that work will have to be done by a much smaller group of people. According to a report in the New York Times, Motorola told employees yesterday that it would "lay off 20 percent of its work force and close a third of its 94 offices worldwide."

The Times report described the cuts as the first step in Google's plan to reinvent Motorola. But there's more to the plan than just job cuts. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside told the Times that the company will stop flooding the market with tons of low-end devices and focus on releasing just a few marquee ones. "Mr. Woodside also plans to cut the number of devices Motorola makes from the 27 it introduced last year to just a few," the Times wrote. "He wants to make the company’s products cool again by loading them with things like sensors that recognize who is in a room based on their voices, cameras that take crisper photos and batteries that last for days."

While the planned layoffs of 20 percent of staff haven't begun, Google has already gotten rid of 40 percent of Motorola's vice presidents. 4,000 jobs will be lost, one-third of them in the US.

Google purchased Motorola primarily for its huge store of wireless patents in an effort to protect Android in the overactive world of technology patent lawsuits. Google has a history of killing off products built by companies it has acquired, but Motorola was in need of an overhaul even before being bought by Google. While Apple and Samsung make most of the profits in the smartphone industry, Motorola's phone business has been "unprofitable for 14 of the last 16 quarters" and "lost $233 million in its first six weeks under Google," the Times report noted.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Android, Google, Motorola

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