Google to Cut 4,000 Jobs at Motorola Subsidiary
Google's newly acquired subsidiary, Motorola Mobility is preparing to slash around 20 percent of its workforce - some 4,000 jobs and will close a third of its near 100 offices worldwide.
Motorola's new CEO, Dennis Woodside told the New York Times that about a third of the job losses would be concentrated in the USA as the company refocuses on high end smartphones and shrinks its product base to just a few models.
Mobile phone manufacturers have traditionally offered a wide range of handsets to appeal to different markets and cultures, but Apple's decision to launch just a single very high-end device has shown that a narrow range of products can succeed as well.
"We're excited about the smartphone business," said Mr. Woodside. "The Google business is built on a wired model, and as the world moves to a pretty much completely wireless model over time, it's really going to be important for Google to understand everything about the mobile consumer."
However, abandoning the lower end market could leave smartphone only vendors at risk of losing customers in developing nations who develop brand loyalty with their first cheaper models.
As part of the cuts, the company also plans to centralise R&D in the USA and China, showing the company's commitment to the largest single market in the world. A team of just a handful of developers will be tasked with coming up with new innovations for the pared-back smartphone range.
The company has hired a former defence technology specialist to head the team.
The move may also worry other Android based smartphone manufacturers as Google is evidently making an effort to turn Motorola around and the company is not content to simply sit on the company's patent assets as had been presumed.
On the web: New York Times