updated 02:25 pm EDT, Wed March 19, 2008
Moto to Cut Design in Half
Motorola may cut as much as half of its UK design team, the companysaid today in a statement. All of the 121 staffers at the cellphone maker's Birmingham location have been told they may lose their positions, with roughly half of that amount likely to be laid off in the near future. The location itself may be shut down and see the remaining workers moved to a more central location or else working in a different capacity for the company. Most of the changes will take place sometime after a 90 day period to be used to determine final plans.
The move is openly declared to be part of a larger attempt to revive Motorola's struggling yet essential Mobile Devices division, which primarily addresses the company's handset business. The US-based company has seen dramatic losses in its cellphone business as users switch to other devices, and in late 2007 saw its year-over-year marketshare plummet 38 percent.
Motorola's new chief, Greg Brown, is believed to be responsible for aggressive moves in recent months and has pushed out several executives from key positions in an attempt to reshape the company's mobile strategy. This has included the departure of a key marketer who is known to have supported the RAZR-focused marketing approach chosen by predecessors, which have been criticized in the past for commoditizing the once-premium cellphone's name and focusing on minor updates rather than major new models.
The firm also manufactures Windows Mobile smartphones but has often been considered secondary to larger contenders, including Apple and RIM in the US and Nokia in Europe.