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Motorola Mobility to Slash 20% of Work Force, Close 33% of Offices

As with any good acquisition, cuts and restructuring have both finally come to Motorola Mobility. Google completed its purchase of the company back in May, mostly for the benefit of the Android’s patent portfolio, and is now moving forward with bold plans to bolster its new flagging subsidiary. In order to make the company a leaner machine, 20% of Motorola Mobility’s work force will be let go, and 33% of their offices will be closed. Nothing like a good round of pink slips to refocus a company.

As the world moves more toward wireless technology, Google intends to use its new purchase to better understand and explore the space. Sure, Google makes Android and partners with people to construct smartphones, but the company now owns the ability to directly craft mobile phones of their own design. They have, however, repeatedly ensured that they won’t be giving themselves any specific advantages in the Android market; it’s mighty lucrative for Google to keep their manufacturing partners for the time being. That could change in the future, however.

Interestingly enough, Dennis Woodside, CEO of Motorola Mobility, will also be slashing the number of phones the company makes in order to focus on new, cooler design specifications. The margins are already low in the mobile phone market, so Woodside intends to instead go for innovative and interesting rather than broad spectrum offerings. These new designs will be coming from a group called Advanced Technology and Projects, headed by Regina Dugan — who used to work for DARPA.

The work force reduction and closing of offices probably won’t earn Google any friends at ground level in the company. However, focusing instead on designing and engineering new and better products will ultimately keep Motorola Mobility, and by extension Google, relevant in times to come. Can’t hurt to start looking at what’s going to be the mobile obsession once the iPhone has had its time in the sun.

(The New York Times via Hacker News, image credit via Adam from another planet…)

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