We’ve got levels of bad news today out of Motorola, as the company has confirmed that they are laying off a number of employees from their Chicago office. The confirmation comes after reports surfaced suggesting that 50% of remaining staff may have been let go and that the Moto Z line’s future could be in jeopardy.
In a statement to 9to5Google, Motorola said the following:
In late 2017, Lenovo announced a worldwide resource action that would occur over the next several quarters, and impacting less than two percent of its global workforce. This week’s employment reductions are a continuation of that process. We are reducing our Motorola operations in Chicago however this did not impact half of our workforce there and our Moto Z family will continue.
So let’s break that statement down a bit. They didn’t layoff half of their staff in Chicago, but they didn’t say exactly how many either. It could be 40% or 1/3, as has been suggested by others. Either way, it’s safe to say that it’s a fair amount of the remaining crew at Motorola HQ, which already had a diminished number after cuts in 2016.
As for the Moto Z line and Moto confirming that it “will continue,” that statement doesn’t say for how long. We know that Motorola confirmed a couple of years ago to supporting Moto Mods for three years, so “will continue” could just fall in line with that level of thinking. Motorola may very well release another Moto Z line (its third), but there’s just no telling if they will after that.
In terms of other Motorola bad news, Android Police is reporting that Moto may have already cut the Moto X5, a phone we leaked back in January and has yet to be officially announced. A source of theirs claims that Motorola will cut back its offerings this year to Moto E, G, and Z phones, leaving the X line out once again.
Their source also claims that the future of Moto Z Moto Mods will include less niche offerings (like that Gamepad no one bought) and lean more on profit-turners. Does that mean more shells and battery packs that can be made cheaply and sold with a hell of a markup? I hope not.
Motorola declined to comment to Android Police.
Soooooooo, this is all unfortunate news on a Friday. We know that Motorola hasn’t performed well under Lenovo, but to see additional layoffs out of Chicago and the future of product lines up-in-the-air, we aren’t sure what Motorola can do at this point to pull itself back up. Is leaning on E, G, and Z lines the right move? Those lines are perhaps the reason we’re in this situation to begin with, no?