Motorola Mobility has said job cuts in the UK cannot be ruled out after its parent company Google revealed it was slashing the manufacturer's workforce by 20%.
A third of its 90 offices worldwide will be closed and at least 4,000 jobs will be cut, a third of those in the US. A spokesperson for the company said it would help affected staff through this transition, provide 'generous severance packages' and help them find new jobs.
Motorola will consolidate its product portfolio away from feature phones towards 'more innovative and profitable devices'.
It is the first major move by new CEO Dennis Woodside, who was installed as head of the manufacturer after Google's $12.5bn acquisition of Motorola Mobility was completed in May. Since then, the business lost $233m in its first six weeks trading under Google.
In an interview with the New York Times yesterday (12 August), Woodside said it was the first step of a plan to fight back against the market's runaway leaders, Apple and Samsung. He said: 'We’re excited about the smartphone business. 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.'
Woodside has already began making cuts, with the NYT reporting that 40% of its VPs have left the business. He told the newspaper he will drastically slash the number of devices it produces from 27 last year to just a handful in 2012.
Among the features Motorola Mobility will include in future devices are sensors that recognise who is in a room according to their voices, cameras with sharper picture quality and batteries that last for several days.
Other changes include a ditching of suppliers, plans to purchase 50% fewer components, and a new 'emotional' marketing campaign.
In a filing to the United States Security and Exchanges Commission this afternoon, Google said the cuts would cost $275m, which will hit its third quarter results. Sales will fluctuate for the next financial quarters, it added.
Editor: Graeme Neill