Motorola’s Year of Job Cuts

Motorola is ending 2008 the way it started — with layoffs. The handset maker confirmed that it has cut about 7,800 employees jobs in the past 12 months.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, Motorola (NYSE: MOT) said it is completing its October layoff action of 3,000 employees with the final 400 occurring as the year concludes. In 2007 Motorola laid off a total of 6,700 employees.

“This an estimate and new figures will be included in our 10-K schedule to be released after our fourth quarter earnings call,” a spokesperson told

The news comes two weeks after the mobile device maker announced a cost-cutting effort that canceled bonuses, slashed benefits for the upcoming year and a 25 percent salary cut for its co-CEOs.

“All of the Cmpany’s business segments, as well as various corporate functions, are impacted by these plans,” stated the SEC filing. Motorola’s workforce actions, and other cost reduction initiatives will save Motorola $800 million in 2009, a spokesperson told

Meanwhile, the struggling handset maker is now facing hit a lawsuit by Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM).

RIM claims Motorola is illegally blocking attempts to hire ex and current employees. The BlackBerry maker’s court action is in response to a February lawsuit filed by Motorola to stop RIM from poaching employees.

Motorola’s initial employee reductions took place early this year, with a layoff of 4,800. That was shortly after co-CEO Greg Brown came on board to steer the mobile division into more profitable waters. On October 30 the company announced the second big layoff round though specific figures were not provided at the time.

Brown embarked on a flurry of reorganization efforts, primarily targeting the mobile division though some leaders in HR and finance were replaced as well

Brown then announced plans to spin off the mobile business and initiated a CEO search. In early summer Sanja Jha was hired for the job and also as Motorola’s co-CEO.

However, during its most recent earnings report Brown announced that the mobile division spin-off was on hold due to turbulent economics.

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