Google confirms 4000 Motorola job cuts

Google has confirmed that Motorola Mobility will cut 20 per cent of its workforce — around 4000 people — and close up to a third of its offices around the world.

(Credit: Motorola)

The cuts, first reported by The New York Times yesterday, were confirmed by Google overnight.

"Motorola is committed to helping them (the employees) through this difficult transition, and will be providing generous severance packages, as well as outplacement services to help people find new jobs," Google said in a statement.

Two-thirds of the 4000 jobs to be cut will be from outside the United States, the company said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, dated 3 August.

The company also said in the filing that it plans to "simplify its mobile product portfolio — shifting the emphasis from feature phones, to more innovative and profitable devices."

Google is looking for Motorola Mobility to "return to profitability", the 8-K filing added. Severance charges will run as high as $275 million, and are expected to be realised largely in the third quarter, while additional charges relating to the restructuring "could be significant", according to the filing.

The smartphone maker, bought by Google in a US$12.5 billion deal that closed earlier this year, said thayy it also plans to cut one-third of its approximately 90 facilities, worldwide.

According to The New York Times, Motorola Mobility is to reduce its operations in Asia and India, and will also focus its research and development efforts in Chicago, Sunnyvale (California) and Beijing, China.

The company plans to leave unprofitable markets, stop making low-end devices and focus on a few cell phones, instead of dozens, Motorola Mobility's chief executive Dennis Woodside told the paper.

Google took over Motorola Mobility, following an increase in patent litigation with smartphone makers — the acquisition saw Google gain more than 17,000 technology patents.


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