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Motorola to Cut 20% of Workforce – Pulling Out of Struggling Markets, Will Produce Just a Few High-end Phones

Now that the newly Google-powered leadership team has settled into their Motorola digs, it’s time for cuts and a re-focus. According to Dennis Woodside, the new CEO of Motorola, there will be a 20% cut in their global work force, one third of which will be right here in the U.S. A third of their global offices will be closed, many from unprofitable countries. They will also focus on making fewer phones, but ones that are high-end and include unique features to help them stand out from the crowd. 

This move really isn’t all that surprising, as Motorola has been unprofitable in 14 of their last 16 quarters. Under previous leadership, aka Sanjay Jha, the company was nothing short of a mess. They introduced products to the market that were DOA, cheaply made, and in groups that essentially flooded the game.

Over the next year, there will only be a few phones made, in an attempt to return Moto to the “cool” group. After cutting some 40% of VPs, they brought in a special group of innovators who fall under the title “Advanced Technology and Projects.” This group has one goal – to create the next big thing, but they only have a short amount of time to do so. If they aren’t pushing innovation forward, then the next group will replace them.

And, there you have it, folks. Big changes happening at Motorola. Hopefully this means a new lease on life, one that includes phones we can all gather around, once again.

Via:  NYTimes

Cheers GunHao and TB!

  • Rob

    be nice if they let the clown go who thought locked bootloaders was a good idea.

  • turb0wned

    Now this is a smart move. This is what every company should do. I’ve said it so many times… Stop making so many damn phones a year!

  • wm snyder

    Moto did this to their self by locking bootloaders,nonremovable batterys and no sd cards and finialy big bezells…..oh and there moto blur…and not listening to there customers. So they have a long way to go before i buy one again!

  • William_Morris

    “but ones that are high-end and include unique features to help them stand out from the crowd.”

    Read: “A high end phone hindered by our low-end Moto-blur software.”

  • trophynuts

    pretty sure if Moto is going to make the next Nexus device they should already be starting the testing phase. this time last year is about when we started hearing VZW Nexus rumors.

  • The bootloaders. Unlock them. That’s ALL we ask. {{-_-}}

  • UrDoGG

    Aside from the loss of jobs, awesome.

  • nhizzat

    Motorola RAZR Nexus please! All I want is the Maxx battery and a 4.5″+ Color Boost screen.

  • J Nano

    Unlock the bootloader! Troll, can’t wait to see what google and motorola has to offer us!

  • thebaz

    I’d just like to see Motorola release any of these “high end” phones come out while they are at least somewhat close to the cutting edge. By the time the HD is released the edge is nowhere in sight.

  • Knlegend1

    Unfortunately this has nothing to do with the Razr HD.

  • Raven

    Personally, I hope the “unique features to help them stand out from the crowd” include another great slider phone. I am still waiting for an awesome Droid 5 to replace my Droid 2. Especially since LTE is finally going live in my area on August 16th.

  • I haven’t even considered a Moto phone since my original Droid. Let’s hope Google can turn them around, and start by completely revamping their industrial design.

    • Diablo81588

      And make it more like nature?

  • Rich

    no, they new to steal or worry about the battery life… your phone can be kool, or ok or better than both but if you can’t use it, then what good is it? exactly… a paper weight

  • Suralin

    Moto already makes the best phones in the Smartphone arena, but now they need to focus on aesthetics and better features. I’ll be very happy with a phone that has Moto radios, Samsung displays, HTC cameras, and unlockable bootloader.

    • Droidzilla

      Replace HTC with Zeiss and you’ve got it. Current smartphone cameras are way behind what they ought to be, considering how the rest of their internals have progressed the last two years.

  • Destroythanet

    Fewer phones, less bezel. It ain’t rocket science, Moto.

  • Cheng GuanHao

    I guess they could STOP using the DROID, MILESTONE, RAZR , DEFY series and also those “mini, HD, XT”. Time for a brand new start, and let’s hope that it’s a great new beginning for Motorola! Bring back your glory days, for the sake of your loyal fans!

    And please do everything properly for this time round!

  • orion11100

    One more way Google can pay for those outstanding death benefits…I kid I kid..

  • Sqube

    This is the smartest decision they’ve made in a while.

  • kixofmyg0t

    Well everone complained how Moto released 400+ phones last year(in reality it was like 6). This year we’ve had the RAZR MAXX, D4, Atrix HD, Photon Q and Electricfy 2….almost the same amount as last year…..yet how many people are complaining now? Nowhere near as many as last year. Just goes to show it doesnt matter what Motorola does people will complain.

    The only things im tracking for the rest of the year are the RAZR HD and RAZR Mini. IDK where the RAZR HD MAXX idea came from..its not needed as the RHD matches the MAXX in battery like thanks to the S4.

  • Booyah

    Moto hardware + Vanilla OS = Nexus Superphone

  • If they are making such big changes then I’m going to go ahead and assume Google wasn’t impressed with what they have in their product pipeline. As much as I want the Razr HD to be great I’m thinking it’s probably going to be a Bionic 2.

  • Droidder

    Bout time they get some smarts

  • Chris Malkiewicz

    Whelp… So much for the firewall between the two companies LOL. But good news for fewer phones with much higher quality!

    • kevinc

      where did you read about the firewall going away? these layoffs are from the new management team, not some Google, Inc puppetmaster.

  • triangle8

    Motorola should only make Nexus devices from here on out.

    • John

      In a perfect world 🙂

    • Big_EZ

      I want vanilla android phones not nexus phones. Nexus phones have no microSD card slot.

      • hkklife

        Yup, and with the exception of the disasteous Xyboard/Xoom2 line, removable storage has been a hallmark of Moto devices for years. BUT, I see that changing soon, in their attempt to be “cool”, with Google at the helm, and in their efforts to buy fewer/cheaper components from their suppliers.

        Look how well the “new & improved” strategy of releasing fewer handsets with fixed storage and batteries has worked out for HTC, just to use one example.

      • nhizzat

        SD slot means paying MS royalties for FAT. Just offer 32gb internal.

        • Big_EZ

          My 64 gb sdxc is almost full so unless they give it 96 gb or more it won’t be enough. The cloud option for music just doesn’t work for me since it stops in the midlle of a song when you lose signal

          • envoy510

            Cache more? My client caches 5 songs, which more than covers lost signals in my area.

          • Big_EZ

            I don’ know of a way to cashe more. Play seems to cashe only about 1-2 songs and rhapsody is the same.

          • envoy510

            Yeah, that’s a problem, I agree. Btw, I’m using Subsonic client, which allows you to choose the number to cache.

          • El_Big_CHRIS

            Use spotify and cached it.

          • Adam Brandt

            I am curious, what do you need with that much storage? I am not trying to be rude, just genuinly curious. I have a TON of music, and if I need more, I can change it out every couple months, and I’m fine with 32gb

          • Big_EZ

            I’ve got about 40-45 gb of music alone, about 2 nandroid backups (about a gb each) titanium backups for apps, most recent rom and an extracted version of the same rom so I can figure out what I want to change in ninjamorph, some photos and thats about it which is currently using about 51 gb of my 59 gb on my sdxc

          • nhizzat

            Your case is an outlier, not the norm. I’ve got my 32gb Nexus stocked with everything I need and still have 10gb left. That includes roms, kernels, music, nand backups, and tibu backups.

            Learn to not be a hoarder and you’ll be just fine with just 32gb.

          • Big_EZ

            I’m not a hoarder I just keep my music on my phone which is about 40-45 gb. I listen to music on my phone about 6-10 hours a day.

      • UrDoGG

        You have a really good point. Stock Jelly Bean on my Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 has provided me with the best Android experience yet on any Android device. If Moto (and other hardware makers) would just give us the best possible hardware coupled with a stock experience (doesn’t have to be a Nexus), I think they could sell quite well. Also, they could use the “true” Android experience as a main selling point. Sure most folks wouldn’t know what they were talking about, but I think it would create more interest in the stock/true Android experience.

    • Sqube

      Ehh… I think I’d prefer HTC, on the whole. Their battery life isn’t as great, but custom ROMs help with that and HTC seems to make a better camera.

      • nhizzat

        Custom roms and kernels hardly help with battery life. The only thing that would help is a bigger battery.

  • Jon

    Thank you baby jesus

    • picaso86

      It is sad to see people losing their jobs but in the other hand, we will have quality high-end smartphones coming our way.

  • MudRacer

    I’ll take one good phone over 5 versions of the same phone.

    • Edwin M

      You mean you don’t want to have the Droid Razr, Droid Razr Maxx, Droid Razr HD, or the Droid Razr HD Maxx? Oh, I forgot to add in all the different colors.

      • wm snyder

        Droid is over…..try ahm Excalibur or something!

        • michael arazan

          “Next Cool Phone” Motorola Nexus baby!!!

    • richcricketz

      better for developers too

  • Nice to see Motorola hasn’t learned anything, and I say that as a Motorola fan and current owner (Droid RAZR). Their best-received phone in years was the OG Droid, so why not just produce phones with unlocked boot loaders?

    It’s good that we hopefully won’t be seeing 11 million iterations of the same phone, as I think they’d do fine with two Droid (physical keyboard) phones and two Droid RAZR phones per year, but give the people what they want.

    • kevinc

      the Droid’s success wasn’t due to an unlocked bootloader

      • S Bosworth

        1. The Droid ‘s success was NOT because of an unlocked bootloader. It was because VZW didn’t have the iPhone and was a well marketed alternative for MILLIONS of customers.
        2. I think the RAZR is selling pretty damn well since everyone that’s not a techy aware of bootloaders has the damn things. NORMAL people care about battery life and not having to charge their phone every 8

    • Anderson

      Can you guys just stop the nonsense about bootloaders? Only 0.1% of the users know what it really is and 0.01% of the users would care if it is locked or not.

      • wm snyder

        Wrong if they continue putting their own rom on it and their blur and bloatware the 1% as you call it will greatly increase!

    • nhizzat

      The SGS3 and its signed bootloader would like to have a word with you.

  • Jon

    I think Motorola phones are generally OK…but they need to make them better than OK. They need to drastically improve their cameras and their screens to be competitive with Samsung.

    • JoshGroff

      Yes, because their hardware and radios aren’t efficient enough to make up for the screens and cameras… Although, their cameras are pretty horrible.

      • I’ve never heard battery life as an issue with Moto. They’re generally in the upper levels on that. Agreed the camera software needs a ground-up rewrite.

        • JoshGroff

          Neither of us mentioned battery life, which of course is an issue with most smartphones anyway. (I do miss charging my dumb phone once every 4-6 days) O-o

    • This is definitely one of the goals. Better materials, better cameras.

    • jaymonster

      The Cameras I whole heartedly agree with, I find it baffling that they continue to use such poor sensors for this. The screens, I am a little less worried about than many, because I think the Samsung oversaturation is just over the top and while some (particularly around here) rave about them, I find them annoying. And their build quality is far superior than anything Samsung has done. What they need to fix most (I believe) is their marketing. It clearly isn’t working.

      • I still firmly believe that its the Moto camera software and its overagressive jpeg compression/noise filtering that are the culprits, not the sensors. Use a CM9 ROM on a Razr and the photos are significantly better. Heck, even using Camera ZOOM FX on a stock Moto yields much better photos.

    • This. It was the AMOLED screens that lured me to Samsung originally. They’re just head and shoulders above what I’ve seen from Moto.

  • mmoreimi

    Didn’t we already hear that one?
    Then they came out with the Razr, Razr Maxx, and now the Razr HD and then the Razr Maxx HD.

    • Indeed we did hear this already. I guess now they really mean it. 😛

      Until of course, we see the RAZR HD followed by a RAZR MAXX HD.

      • Larizard

        I think the RAZR HD is the last in the pipeline from “old” Motorola. I’ll be watching out for the phone after that. 😉

        • It takes years to develop a phone, and there’s only so much that can be changed in the late stages. It could be a while before we start seeing world class phones out of Motorola again.

          • cmiram

            True, but it is Google pushing them. They managed to create the Nexus 7 in 4 months, I believe, rather than the normal 10 it would take a company. I agree it will probably be a round or two before we see this come to fruition, but I also think it’ll be sooner than you think.

          • Collin

            Asus created the Nexus 7, not Motorola.

          • TheWenger

            I think he meant Google created the Nexus 7, which is somewhat true.

          • Collin

            Ah, that makes more sense!

          • Larizard

            I don’t think it’s years. Months, I believe, is a better approximate, considering the advancement of tech in a year is a little too much. And come to think about it: a sign of a true innovator is not only the one who has the new idea, but also the one who can bring that idea to the world the fastest, and can keep up with the fast-moving world of tech and design.

            If Moto isn’t aiming to shorten and supercharging their R&D, then they’d be doing it wrong, and we will get on our hands, another case of the Bionic.

        • Phil Stout

          Hopefully they will get away from that ugly sharp edged style!

          • Larizard

            I agree, although I don’t mind how they did it on the Atrix HD. On the Razr though, ugh…