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.
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