Google confirms 4,000 Motorola Mobility job cuts

The search giant will reduce headcount by around 20 percent in an effort to return the smartphone maker to profitability.

Zack Whittaker Writer-editor
Zack Whittaker is a former security editor for CNET's sister site ZDNet.
Zack Whittaker
2 min read

Google has confirmed that Motorola Mobility will cut 20 percent of its workforce -- around 4,000 people -- and close up to a third of its offices around the world.

The cuts, first reported by The New York Times yesterday, were confirmed by Google earlier today.

"Motorola is committed to helping them (the employees) through this difficult transition and will be providing generous severance packages, as well as outplacement services to help people find new jobs," Google said in a statement.

Two-thirds of the 4,000 jobs to be cut will be from outside the United States, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dated August 3.

The company also said in the filing that it plans to "simplify its mobile product portfolio -- shifting the emphasis from feature phones to more innovative and profitable devices."

Google is looking for Motorola Mobility to "return to profitability," the 8-K filing added. Severance charges will run as high as $275 million and are expected to be realized largely in the third quarter, while additional charges relating to the restructuring "could be significant," according to the filing.

The smartphone maker, bought by Google in a $12.5 billion deal that closed earlier this year, said it also plans to cut one-third of its approximately 90 facilities worldwide.

According to New York Times, Motorola Mobility is to reduce its operations in Asia and India and will also focus its research and development efforts in Chicago; Sunnyvale, Calif.; and Beijing.

The company plans to leave unprofitable markets, stop making low-end devices, and focus on a few cell phones instead of dozens, Dennis Woodside, Motorola Mobility's chief executive, told the paper.

Google took over Motorola Mobility following an increase in patent litigation with smartphone makers -- the acquisition saw Google gain more than 17,000 technology patents.