Yikes! We knew things were bad over at Motorola’s mobile handset division, but this seems to be a bit out of control. The company has just sent notice to all 121 designers at the main Birmingham, England site that they’re poised to reduce staff by 50%, axing roughly 60 jobs over the course of the next 3 months. The text of the actual notice is as follows:
“Since the beginning of 2007 Motorola has been public about its commitment to returning the company’s Mobile Devices business to its market-leading position by improving profitability, driving product portfolio enhancements and rationalising costs.
“As a result it is proposed that the Birmingham site will need to reduce headcount by approximately 50 per cent which may potentially require the closure of the site.
“Therefore, all employees will initially be placed at ‘risk of redundancy’ whilst alternative opportunities including redeployment, relocation, flexible working/home working or the opportunity of a ’service site’ arrangement are investigated as part of the consultation process.”
Right…so, in other words, if you’re a designer at the Birmingham plant, you might want to begin looking for a new job. Quickly. The long term implications of this move for Motorola are unclear at the moment, but it’s certainly a clear indicator of the dire state of the company’s cell phone division.