Claire Cain Miller on Motorola cutting 20% of its work force:
One-third of the 4,000 jobs lost will be in the United States. The company plans to leave unprofitable markets, stop making low-end devices and focus on a few cellphones instead of dozens, said Dennis Woodside, Motorola’s new chief executive, in a rare interview.
Makes sense, because:
But Apple and Samsung won consumers’ hearts with the more exciting iPhone and Galaxy phones. Motorola Mobility — which split last year from Motorola Solutions, the division that makes devices like police radios — lost $233 million in its first six weeks under Google. The phone business has been unprofitable for 14 of the last 16 quarters.
That’s basically four straight years of losing money. This is a company that Google paid $12.5 billion for.
Yes, I’m sure it was always mainly about the patents, but Google nearly doubled its workforce with the deal and added quite a bit of red to their bottom line quarter after quarter. I bet these aren’t the only cuts we see.
But it certainly sounds like Woodside and Regina Dugan, formerly of Darpa, are going about the reboot the right way. The most interesting aspect may be the employees who wear their self-enforced resignation dates — two years from now — on their name tags so they have a sense of urgency (an idea Dugan borrowed from Darpa).