Motorola Mobility's hardware unit is in the process of laying off over 10 percent (about 1,200 employees) of its workforce, according to the Wall Street Journal. In an email informing its employees about the move, the company said it was facing challenges, even as it maintains an optimistic outlook about its upcoming products. The email added that Motorola is operating in markets that are not competitive, and is losing money. The layoffs will affect the company's workers in the US, China and India.
The report quoted a Motorola spokesperson as saying, “These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer. It's obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition.”
Layoffs to affect workers in US, China and India
Motorola Mobility announced last August that it would do away with about 40 percent of its vice presidents. The job cuts were forecast to set Google back by $275 million in severance-related charges. The move was one of the first steps by Google to reinvent loss-making Motorola, to augment the Android platform, and expand beyond just search and software into hardware manufacturing. Motorola Mobility reportedly lost $233 million in its first six weeks under Google.
WSJ cites Google as saying that Motorola Mobility had 11,113 employees at the end of 2012. That number did not include the Motorola Home business that was sold to Arris Group Inc. for $2.35 billion in December.
Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in May 2011. Motorola Mobility, which separated from the now-independent Motorola Solutions, experienced heavy losses in 2011. Google said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, “These changes are designed to return Motorola's mobile devices unit to profitability, after it lost money in fourteen of the last sixteen quarters.”
Last August also saw the company announcing that it would be shutting shop in India. Months later, in November, Motorola Mobility shut down its website, marking the end of its India operations. A message on their site read, “We are streamlining our business and support systems, and unfortunately, we'll no longer have a dedicated website for India. Your local support site will remain open well into the future, and we'll continue to provide support for our existing products. If you are interested in viewing our current products, you can still do so here.”