back to article Google to axe 4,000 Motorola Mobility staff

Under Google's leadership a fifth of Motorola staff will be cut, and a third of the offices closed, shifting the focus onto a handful of devices dialling up the innovation. Google acquired Motorola Mobility, as opposed to the now-independent Motorola Solutions, in May, but the unit has lost $233m since then, so some …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google is an expert in creating loads of cool stuff (Chrome OS etc.) that nobody really wants then secretly dropping them. A match made in heaven.

    1. SilverWave

      Android and YouTube seem to be doing OK...

      Chrome browser as well ...

      1. Jan Hargreaves

        Re: Android and YouTube seem to be doing OK...

        They didn't create any of the examples you gave. They just bought them.

        Try looking how successful Buzz, Wave, and Plus are........

        1. SilverWave

          search seem to be doing OK... <snrk>


        2. SilverWave

          Gmail seems to be doing OK... <snerk>


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Hey Google

    I'll sell you my own business for a mere $10bn! Unlike Motorola I'm not losing hundreds of millions every 3 months, I'm not sitting on a potentially huge fine for patent abuse, microsoft haven't prevented me from selling basically anything in Germany, and I'm not being sued by a large number of big corporations. Admittedly I lack a large but mostly worthless patent portfolio, but maybe that's a good thing?

    Paris, because even she would have been bright enough to know $12bn was a bit steep for Motorola.

    1. Shagbag

      Re: Hey Google

      Hindsight is a wonderful thing but you can't put a bet on at the finish of a race.

    2. SilverWave

      Patents are nice, but lovely tax losses are worth more

      The real reason Google bought Motorola

      Patents are nice, but lovely tax losses are worth more

    3. SilverWave

      How about $3.8bn for that?

      Reg Quote: "You're not allowed to buy a company (at least, under US rules you're not) solely to get your hands on their tax losses. But Google is buying the pile of patents, isn't it? I mean, look, they took part in the Nortel patent auction, everyone knows they're trying to buy patents.

      You would really have to be very cynical indeed to think that Google didn't take the Nortel auction seriously. Did I mention that because Nortel was in Chapter 7 liquidation (or the Canadian equivalent) there were no tax losses that could be transferred? I didn't?"

  3. Manu T

    I wonder...

    At the rate current cell-makers are laying off their workforce, I predict cellphones will be extinct by the end of this century. I predict those companies will be extinct as well.

    At least their pre-2010 owners made a shitload of money and a few of us had a few years of regular income. From now on it's all gonna be downhill.

    1. SilverWave

      *this century.* Wow Nostradamus move over


  4. vulcan

    Wonder if this trimming of the fat will get ICS onto UK Xoom tablets before the next decade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Forget 3G if you bought one of those, Then Gedify it as a very nice wifi only tablet. Mine is rooted, overclocked to a stable 1.5GHz and running Jelly Bean. ICS is old hat. If you need 3G tether it to a cheap phone.

      1. pullenuk

        Running 1.7ghz stable on jelly bean and its a uk 3g one. ;-) don't put the 3g one down, i find it useful at work.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ICS arrived on my UK Xoom last week... another year wait for Jelly Bean?

    3. Antony King

      xoom ICS

      my ICS upgrade turned up a couple of days ago on a 3g/wifi xoom in the uk. Fixed so many browser bugs that I ended up using Opera :-) Don't get too excited over it, really.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Moaning here every Moto thread is actually far more effort than GEDifying it and getting your OTAs from Google the day of release - you'd have had ICS months ago and be on the 3rd update to Jelly Bean by now.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Offices for Sale

    I went to see Motorola in San Diego a few years ago (to discuss a set top box venture) and was absolutely amazed at the vast size of their office complex. Motorola used to be good at "radio"; I still have my StarTac (not that I use it any more) and for a while I really thought they could give Nokia a run for their money. How wrong I was; the company bloated and lost focus.

    Google are an engineering company, however, there is going to be a period of turmoil because the company cultures are do different.

    Motorola's ads were great though :

    1. Philip Lewis

      Re: Offices for Sale

      MotoMobi = real engineering company

      Google = Advertising (and part-time software developer) company

      As soon as you see the engineering ranks being decimated on some PHB holy grail related to everything except engineering, you know it's all over for the MotoMobi division of Google.

      This can end about as good as Elop's efforts at NOK. Only difference is that Elop managed to churn about $10Bn and counting. I don't think Moto had that much money (ICBW),

      Popcorn and a large Coke (tm) please ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Offices for Sale

        Upon further analysis, I fear you are right:

        "Brin enrolled in the University of Maryland to study computer science and mathematics, where he received his Bachelor of Science in May 1993 with honors"

        Larry Page: "He holds a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from the University of Michigan with honors and a Master of Science in computer science from Stanford University."

        Neither are "engineers".


        "Elop studied computer engineering and management at McMaster University"

        This does not bode well. I should have researched more before making my initial comment.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby

          @AC Huh? Re: Offices for Sale

          Larry Page: "He holds a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from the University of Michigan with honors and a Master of Science in computer science from Stanford University."

          Hate to break it to you ya...

          But a degree in Computer Engineering is an Engineering degree, thus an engineer. Note that Software Engineering doesn't work well if you want to go for a PE, but you do take the necessary core engineering courses.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AC Huh? Offices for Sale

            in the UK you have BEng (Bachelor of Engineering) degrees and then non engineering degrees - BSc (Bachelor of Science) degrees and Bachelor of Arts degrees and a few others.

            I just looked it up, the USA uses different terminology and Awards a Bachelor of Science Engineering degree (BSc Eng) degree, so you are right.

            I'm biased, unless you understand Fourier transforms, Laplace and Z-Transforms you've not gone through enough pain to be called an Engineering graduate !

            1. Ian Michael Gumby

              Re: @AC Huh? Offices for Sale

              Sorry, but you just grok'd math coursework. Nothing from the other engineering disciplines which you should have also covered. (Strength and Materials, Analog circuits, Digital circuits... )

              I too have a hard time when someone claims to be a Software Engineer yet lacks the undergraduate/graduate course work taught in engineering schools.

              So we are in violent agreement, yet I get down voted? :-P

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Re: Offices for Sale@ Philip Lewis

        "MotoMobi = real engineering company"

        To my mind one of these is an engineering company, and it isn't Motorola Mobility.

        Like most of the world's mobe makers, Motortola have become virtual phone makers. The BOM of any recent Moto phone shows that they've assembled it using the same building blocks as everybody else - the names under the bonnet are the usual suspects of Hynix. Qualcomm, Nvidia, Samsung, Toshiba, TI, Infineon, Corning et al. Maybe a single Motorola chip if you're lucky. Critical technologies are provided to the silicon manufacturers by the likes of Intel, ARM, CSR and many others, and of course prior to being bought, Motorola Mobility didn't have their own OS.

        So where's the real engineering here? Designing a PCB to hold other people's chips? Designing the bezel and battery cover? Specifying the package? Or is assembling other people's bits in your own factory engineering?

        MotoMobi = serial loss maker, assembling phones that nobody wanted enough to pay a good margin on relative to Moto's costs

        Google = serial disruptor, engineers of the most prolific search engine yet devised, engineers of one of the largest private IT infrastructures ever built, software engineers of the most popular mobile phone OS, etc.

    2. Anonymous Cowherd 3

      Re: Offices for Sale

      I'd say you were right. Motorola have given Nokia a run for their money, though possibly not in the way you were expecting.

  6. Ian Michael Gumby

    This is a bit of old news...

    Google has been in the local (Chicago) news for its announcement of shutting down Libertyville and moving their Chicago location to two floors in the Merchandise Mart, increasing the profile of Chicago as a center of Tech.

    (Silicon Prairie... but someone else is claiming that distinction.)

    For those who don't know anything about Chicago, you should get a map and see where Libertyville is located and then look at the entire area of Chicago.

    The move downtown is a smart one. Its central to area with Metra transportation from the 'burbs and EL traffic from the cool spots like Lincoln Park, Wicker Park and other parts of Chicago where cool, hip, young talent want to live. (Face it, if you're young, single and making decent money, you want to work hard and play hard. Something you can't do in the 'burbs.)

    This is in addition to the 1871 start up group that wants to help launch startups in Chicago.

    Lots of talent in the area, relatively cheap when you look at Silicon Valley and NY.

    Of course we want real folks who can stomach the winters that aren't really that bad except for a week or two.

    BTW, Nokia (L&C) is in the Boeing Building down the street.

    Also on a side note, Groupon's HQ is a stone's throw away in the Warehouse building of the now defunct Montgomery Ward complex. Oddly enough, they didn't put their data centers there and take advantage of the infrastructure MW put in just before their demise.

    Mine's the jacket with the roll of poop bags and doggie treats because I happen to live in River North ...

    1. Ian Michael Gumby

      Re: This is a bit of old news...

      Must have been down voted by someone who's job is getting cut.

      Sorry, but this really is a good thing. At least for Google and those remaining at Moto mobile.

  7. 3G or not to 3G

    Can't see this making matters any better at Motorola. They already can't seem to get an OS on to their flagship phone within eight months, continually stalling, and reciting the same tired old excuses, littered with caveats such as "hopefully", "working hard to achieve the best ICS experience" and "might be in August".

    I never thought that customer service would get so bad, but Motorola seem to have taken it to record lows. I wonder if these job cuts will weed out the deadwood or just completely break the company?

  8. Radelix


    Google will use moto to put out nexus devices and put the updates issue and motoblur to bed.

  9. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    Fire the managers

    Sanjay Jha was given a million bucks to turn the company around. What did the engineers get?

    Answer - they got shown the door.

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