LONDON – Motorola Mobility, the mobile phone company acquired by Google in May 2012 for $12.5 billion, has reportedly notified staff that it plans to cut 20 percent of jobs and close one third of its 94 offices worldwide.
About one third of the estimated 4,000 job cuts are expected to be made in the United States.
The strong action is seen as the first step in moves by Google to reinvent Motorola, one of the oldest brands in electronics, but one that had been in trouble for several years prior to the Google acquisition. Motorola was the pioneer of the cellphone but despite achieving some success with the Razr brand largely missed out on the smartphone transition.
Google's move on Motorola Mobility had two purposes according to observers at the time; to bolster its legal position with 17,000 patents that would help it defend its Android platform but also to help Google move into selling equipment, specifically smartphone and tablet computers.
It is understood that Google is pushing Motorola to focus on just a few high-end models of phone with added value and differentiation through additional sensors and software features.
Motorola always hires the best of talent. The staff would definitely be picked up by the best in the industry but the stigma people's heart gets no one can cure that. I guess the corporate world of telecom/software as fascinating it is the same time its dangerous. But not sure how engineers can make an alternate earning at the initial part of their career.May be real estate or agriculture..
Chris Galvin's tenure was brief and many of the problems mentioned were already in place when he arrived. Some may argue that he was rushed into the position and took the fall. Along the way, the V3 Razr was a project that he supported but Ed Zander got the credit for it.
Chipmonk, how can you blame Galvin. I'd say that George Fisher had much more to do with the demise that Chris Galvin, focussing only on short term profit and ignoring long term effects of decisions that were made. All the spintering of the company started when he was at the helm. IMHO, of course. From good ole WIkipedia "In 2008, several years after Galvin's departure, a study was completed by the Monitor-Global Business Network consulting company to identify and compare the best + $5B in revenue global high tech corporate turnarounds since 1990. In comparing six year periods including three years of turnaround actions and the corresponding companies’ resulting financial performance, the study placed Galvin’s turnaround of Motorola as one of the top five large high tech turnarounds. The companies compared were IBM, Apple, Xerox, HP and Motorola."
"...push to grow in China and letting them get away with robbing Moto blind in the vain hope of getting a leading market share in China..." -- Provide the evidence of China robbing Moto! There are so many examples that company succeeded by combing its technology with China's low manufacturing cost. It is Moto's own failure. Stop accusing China!
The ultimate measure is value added. What value Motorola Mobility (MM) is bring on the table? What are the value of the MM's staff bringing to Google? Acquiring the patents is apparently an appealing move. Is Google looking for more from MM given ODM/ OEM vendors are primarily resided in Asia?
I guess the incidence has long been expected. Whatever has happened happened. It is a matter of how MM staffs come together to bring some good stuffs to the community. I can't wait to see these group of folks come up something exciting - the next big thing. ;)
Paul Galvin founded Motorola in the 1920s with a unique product a car radio immune from EM noise due to spark plugs - hence the name. Son Bob grew it to the third largest electronics conglometrate in the world ( 1991 ) and stock split thrice in 6 years. But then he handed over the reins to his son Chris who ruined it by letting the various division heads fight among one another and hinder transition to new technologies e,g. a RISC processor at the Semiconductor division or moving from Analog to Digital cell phones. Then there was the Iridium fiasco - a satellite phone for those who could n't afford it ! And the disastrous push to grow in China and letting them get away with robbing Moto blind ( base - stations as well as wafer fabs ) in the vain hope of getting a leading market share in China. At the end of it the main reason for Motorola's downfall was cronyism in corporate decision making - a bunch of under - qualified engineers who had worked their way up to the board room by toadying to the Galvin family and made awful decisions in a consumer electronics world they had helped create but could no longer keep up with in spite of the terrific R&D that Google has now captured.
Sic transit gloria.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.