Motorola Mobility Undergoing Massive Overhaul

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Motorola LogoBig changes are in the works for Motorola Mobility in the wake of Google acquiring the company back in May, including significant layoffs and a more focused approach to device manufacturing.

With the acquisition, Google intended to get more involved in the manufacture of hardware, and Motorola is a viable means to do so. Google has a different approach in mind, however, as it plans on leaving unprofitable markets by abandoning the creation of low-end devices and thinning out Motorola’s portfolio of handsets to a mere few rather than dozens. This way, Motorola can focus on making a handful of high-quality devices rather than spreading its efforts too thin.

Motorola’s new chief executive, Dennis Woodside, told the New York Times in an interview that he intends to reduce Motorola’s number of devices to just a few, down from the 27 that the company introduced last year alone. In doing so, he hopes to make Motorola phones “cool again” by using the freed-up resources to develop better technology for their handsets, like longer battery life, better quality photos, and even sensors to recognize who is in a room based on their voices.

But there’s a downside for some: as part of Google’s effort to reboot the company (which it acquired for $12.5 billion), Motorola announced on Sunday that it will lay off 20% of its work force and close down a third of its 94 global offices. Of the 4,000 jobs that will be lost as a result of Google’s efforts to breathe life back into Motorola, a third of them will be in the US, while Google has already laid off 40% of Motorola’s vice presidents and hired new senior executives.

That’s not to say that Google’s efficient house cleaning has made much of a difference so far, with Motorola Mobility losing $233 million in its first six weeks under Google. But it’s a gradual process, as there are multiple long-term motivations behind Google’s buying out and massive overhaul of Motorola, including the hardware efforts and Motorola’s 17,000-plus patents, which can help Google protect Android from challenges to the mobile OS.

Source: New York Times

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