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Motorola to Cut More Chicago Jobs

Posted on August 21, 2008

One company is cutting even more jobs in Chicago and elsewhere.

Motorola Inc. announced earlier this month is would cut 2,600 more jobs in an effort to save $500 million in annual revenue to help cope with declining revenue, according to an article from Chicago Business.

Many of the specific job cuts have already been announced, including 700 employees in Singapore, 355 positions in Plantation, Fla. and 60 jobs in Birmingham, England. The company has not announced exactly how many Chicago jobs it will cut, but the company employs 15,000 people in the city.

In June, the company said it would cut 25 percent of jobs in its research division and reassign other jobs effective July 1. These measures eliminated 150 of the 600 positions in Motorola Labs, the unit responsible for basic research in everything from cell phones to radio technology.

An additional 180 employees were reassigned to work in individual business units from cell phones to set-top boxes. The last 300 workers remained with a smaller unit called the Applied Research & Technology Center.

Motorola eliminated 7,500 positions in 2007, and when the new cutbacks are complete, the company will have about 63,500 employees worldwide, down from 66,000 at the end of 2007. In 2000 the company employed 147,000 employees worldwide.

In 2007 the company’s revenue dropped 15 percent to $36.7 billion, mostly because of a decrease in sales in wireless phones. Motorola’s cell phone sales fell 33 percent to $19 billion.

“Motorola is in the midst of trying to spin off its money-losing phone business from units that make two-way radios, set-top cable boxes, wireless data networks for businesses and gear to operate cell-phone networks,” the article notes.

“Motorola’s research division has been seen alternately as the company’s greatest strength or one of its weaknesses, squandering money on efforts that too often didn’t translate into products that could be sold,” the article adds. “Supporters point to Motorola engineers who came up with the hit Razr while exploring how thin they could make a cell phone and get rid of the external antenna.”

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