Google plans 4,000 layoffs at Motorola

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Aug 13 2012 07:20 PM | Updated as of Aug 14 2012 03:20 AM

NEW YORK - Internet giant Google on Monday said it plans to lay off about 4,000 employees at Motorola, a cellphone maker it purchased in May, in order to return the company to profitability.

"While we expect this strategy to create new opportunities and help return Motorola's mobile devices unit to profitability, we understand how hard these changes will be for the employees concerned," a company spokesperson told AFP.

According to The New York Times, the reorganization plan calls for laying off about 20 percent of Motorola's workforce and closing a third of its 94 offices worldwide.

About two-thirds of the affected 4,000 jobs will be lost outside of the United States, according to the report.

The company plans to leave unprofitable markets, stop making low-end devices and reduce the number of cellphone models it is producing, the paper said.

Motorola will reduce its operations in Asia and India, and center research and development in Chicago, Sunnyvale and Beijing.

The Google spokesperson said help will be provided to those whose jobs were being cut.

"Motorola is committed to helping them through this difficult transition and will be providing generous severance packages, as well as outplacement services to help people find new jobs," the spokesperson said.

Google has already reorganized Motorola's management team, letting go of 40 percent of its vice presidents, The Times said.

Motorola Mobility was created in 2011 when US-based Motorola Inc split the company into a mobile devices unit and a government and public safety division known as Motorola Solutions.

The $12.5-billion acquisition put the Internet giant in head-to-head competition with Apple.

Google said it will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business unit that will be a licensee of Android, the Google operating system for mobile devices.

With the purchase, Google acquired 17,000 patents. It has been strengthening its patent portfolio in the fight for dominance in the booming smartphone and tablet market.

The Android system snagged 51 percent of the US mobile phone operating system market in the three months ending in March, according to comScore, while Apple's operating system had 30.7 percent.

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